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Art Deco buildings in New York City stand out against the curtains of glass and pillars of steel that have dominated the skyline in recent years. The Fred French Building stands 38 stories tall in Midtown.

The architectural firm of H. Douglas Ives designed the first Art Deco skyscraper for the real estate developer Fred French. French, who also developed Tudor City and Knickerbocker Village, originally intended his name-sake building to be housing for “junior Wall Street executives”. 

This was the tallest building on Fifth Avenue when it was completed in 1927. The bronze paneling and vibrant terra-cotta elements allude to Middle Eastern motifs and colors. The building is composed of limestone, brick and terra cotta. In 1985, MetLife purchased and renovated the building. During the renovation, the main lobby’s vaulted ceiling was repainted and the plaster trim re-gilded to replicate the original patterns and colors.

551 Fifth Avenue was designated a National Landmark in 1986.

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This ArchiDoodle includes nine different patterns working together fairly harmoniously and echoing all the different sized arches found in the ornate lobby.

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Have a great week!