Now called the Helmsley Building, this 35-story building is on Park Avenue between East 45th and East 46th Street. It was built in 1929 and originally called the New York Central Building. Designed in the Beaux-Arts style with incredible interiors (seriously) by Warren & Wetmore, the architects of Grand Central Terminal, the building was originally the headquarters for the New York Central Railroad Company. Before the railroad was electrified, the area north of Grand Central Terminal featured open-air rail yards and steam locomotive tracks. But, the electrification covering of the yards enabled the continuation of Park Avenue north and the construction of new buildings. When New York Central sold the building, General Tire & Rubber Company renamed the building the New York General Building. The building was easily renamed as the “C” and “T” in Central were chiseled into a “G” and an “E”. When General Tire & Rubber Company sold the building to Helmsley-Spear, Leona Helmsley renamed the building The Helmsley Building, which is its current name. The building was designated a New York City Landmark in 1987. Want a story about one of the building’s tenants? Salvatore Maranzano was one of the most powerful gangsters in NYC and kept an office on the building’s ninth floor. But, on September 10, 1931, Lucky Luciano placed a hit on Maranzano in that very office. Maranzano was shot and stabbed by four men claiming to be tax agents. Lucky then took over.
Samuel H. (Samuel Herman) Gottscho (1875-1971)
[Park Avenue and the New York Central Building]
DATE: c. 1930