On the first and second floor windows of World Wide Plaza on 8th Avenue between 49th Street and 50th Street are these great pieces of window art, referencing iconic images of New York City–its bridges, taxis, subways, and street signs. Seen from both the street and at the entrance to the subway on 49th Street, the images also look down on an open atrium into the subway station. A fun tidbit is that World Wide Plaza sits on the former site of the third Madison Square Garden, long a parking lot before this development.
World Wide Plaza, designed by David Childs, is home to the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, whose decision to move to Hell’s Kitchen was met with downright shock by Paul Goldberger in 1990. He writes in The New York Times,
If you believe in the religion of gentrification, the arrival of Cravath, Swaine & Moore on Eighth Avenue last fall is the equivalent of the coming of the Messiah. Did anyone ever think the day would come when Cravath, the white shoe-est of all white-shoe law firms, would abandon the solid precincts of Wall Street not for Rockefeller Center but for Eighth Avenue?
There’s a rather corporate feeling courtyard between 8th and 9th Avenue that links the two skyscrapers in this development together, but with the changes that have come around in the two decades since its construction, World Wide Plaza doesn’t seem so fish out of water anymore. And the window art is a nice way to conceal unrented office space, don’t you think?
More places where art meets retail in NYC: Over 200+ storefronts of Harlem along 125th Street are painted by one artist.
Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.