The 601 Lexington Avenue is an imposing skyscraper located at 53rd Street, between Lexington Avenue and Third Avenue in midtown Manhattan in New York. It is considered as one of the 10 tallest skyscrapers in the city of New York. With its unique architectural design and bright white color, it is considered as one of the most distinctive buildings lining the New York City skyline. The tower was also previously known as the Citigroup Center and the Citicorp Center.
601 Lexington Avenue History
The current site of the 601 Lexington Avenue Building was also occupied by the St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, which was founded in 1862. The church allowed Citicorp to demolish the old church in order to build the building but on one condition- a new church would have to be constructed on the same corner with no connection whatsoever to the building to be constructed over it.
This proposed a building challenge for the designers of the building, even thinking that it might be such a difficult undertaking. But then structural engineer William LeMessurier suggested an idea- build the whole tower resting on four massive 114-foot or 35-meter high columns and positioned at the center of each side rather than on the corners. This would provide enough space to build the church below without being connected to the building. And that was how the tower was built. Construction of the building started in 1974 and was completed and opened in 1977.
601 Lexington Avenue Features
The 601 Lexington Avenue Building stands 915 feet or 279 meters tall. It has a total of 59 floors and contains 1.3 millions square feet or 120,000 square meters of office space. The building features double-deck elevators, with each deck serving only odd or even floors. Due to the increasing threat of terrorist attacks brought about by the World Trade Center bombing, one of the columns was shielded with blast resistant layers of steel and copper in 2002. Steel bracing was also added to protect the whole building further from such attacks.
The 601 Lexington Avenue Building is quite distinctive not only for its massive column base but also for its slanted roof. It slopes at a 45-degree angle that spread to a height of 160 feet. This slanted crown was originally designed to be fitted with solar panels to provide energy for building use. The plan was eventually scrapped because the slanted roof positioning will make the solar panels unable to face the sun directly.
For added stability, the building is also fitted with a tuned mass damper located at the mechanical space at the top of the building. The 400 ton stabilizing equipment is designed to counteract the swaying motions caused by the wind blowing on the structure. 601 Lexington Avenue is the first ever building in the US to ever be fitted with a tuned mass damper.