Post-Modern Manhattan: West 50s + 60s

Matt Postal, architectural historian + guide

Post-Modern Manhattan: West 50s + 60s

New York, Manhattan, New York 10019, United States

Created By: Matt Postal

Tour Information

Selected by architectural historian Matt Postal, this walking tour includes important examples of Manhattan's Post-Modern architecture, built between 1980 and 2000. See works by mostly major American architects, including Skidmore Owings + Merrill, Kohn Pedersen & Fox, Hemut Jahn, and Kevin Roche. Many of the buildings feature handsome lobbies and public plazas, some of which provide seating and display contemporary works of art.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

One and Two Worldwide Plaza

This four-acre complex (1985-89) consists of a 50-story office tower, a twin-towered apartment building, and a public plaza. Though criticized by some for being aesthetically "bloated," the twin elliptical passages that connect the mid-bloc... Read more
750 Seventh Avenue

Kevin Roche, architect of the Ford Foundation and 1+2 United Nations Plaza, designed this jagged office tower in 1990. Faced with dark grey glass and ceramic-coated panels, the stepped elevations terminate in a mansard-like roof with a slen... Read more
AXA Equitable Center

Designed by Edward Larabee Barnes for the Equitable Life Insurance Company in the mid-1980s, the soaring skylit Seventh Avenue lobby contains a colorful mural, "Mural With Blue Brushstroke," by the pop artist Roy Lichtenstein and semi-circu... Read more
Paley Center for Media

The mid-block Paley Center (originally the Museum of Televison + Radio) was designed by Philip Johnson (with John Burgee). Completed in 1991, it is named for the founder of CBS Television, William S. Paley. The 16-story limestone exterior h... Read more
Deutsche Bank / EF Hutton Building

Kevin Roche designed this glass and granite-clad office building with a mansard roof for developer Gerald Hines in 1984. With mid-block entrances on both 52nd and 53rd Streets, it features a theatrical -- almost Art Deco -- lobby with a mos... Read more
Museum of Modern Art + Tower

Various architects built MoMA, including the Argentine-born Cesar Pelli, who designed the 1984 expansion, incorporating a residential tower. Though Pelli did not embrace the kinds of classical quotations favored by many of his contemporarie... Read more
1325 Sixth Avenue

Kohn Pedersen + Fox, planner of Hudson Yards, built 1325 Sixth Avenue in 1989.  Designed in a style that alludes to the Austrian Secession movement in early 20th century Vienna, this twin towered office building contains an especially hand... Read more

The Chicago architect Helmut Jahn designed this mid-block 72-story skyscraper, completed in 1989.  Described by one critic as "high-tech historicist," the granite and glass elevations are crowned by a ribbed dome that was once notorious fo... Read more
Carnegie Hall Tower

Carnegie Hall Tower, at 152 West 57th Street, was completed in 1991. Artfully designed by Cesar Pelli, the colorful stepped masonry façade complements the palette of the adjoining concert hall, a New York City Landmark.  Though many would... Read more
St. Thomas Choir School

This understated example of Post-Modernism was designed by Harold Buttrick, of Buttrick White + Burtis, in 1987. It is located on a (relatively) quiet stretch of West 58th Street, near Seventh Avenue.  Faced with brownish red brick and lim... Read more
One Central Park West

Built as an office building in 1967, this 44-story tower was converted to a hotel-condominium by Donald Trump and investors in 1995-97.  Re-faced with a bronze glass skin, the architect was Philip Johnson.  Costas Kondylis, one of New Yor... Read more
15 Central Park West

Completed in 2008, this late Post-Modern apartment complex was designed by Robert A. M. Stern. Occuppying a full block, from Central Park West to Broadway, the French limestone elevations are particularly beautiful.   
Park Laurel Apartments

Located steps from Central Park at 15 West 63rd Street, the Park Laurel is a blocky red brick 41-story apartment tower with a pyramidal crown. Designed by Beyer Blinder & Belle, a firm specializing in historic preservation, it was built... Read more
ABC Headquarters + Studios

ABC Television occupies a multi-building campus between Central Park and Columbus Avenue. Designed by Kohn Pedersen & Fox, architect and planner of Hudson Yards, most of the structrues in this vaguely classical ensemble date from the la... Read more


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