|Former names||New York General Building|
New York Central Building
|Address||230 Park Avenue|
|Town or city||Midtown Manhattan, New York City, New York|
|Height||565 feet (172 m)|
|Design and construction|
|Architecture firm||Warren and Wetmore|
|Developer||New York Central Railroad Company|
|Designated||31 March 1987|
The Helmsley Building is a 35-story building located at 230 Park Avenue between East 45th and East 46th Streets in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, which was built in 1929 as the New York Central Building, and was designed by Warren & Wetmore, the architects of Grand Central Terminal, in the Beaux-Arts style. Before the completion of the Pan Am Building--now the MetLife Building--this building stood out over the city's second most prestigious avenue as the tallest structure in the great "Terminal City" complex around Grand Central.
Traffic exits and enters the Park Avenue Viaduct through the building, through two portals, one for uptown traffic and one for downtown. They connect to Park Avenue proper at East 46th Street.
The building was designated a New York City Landmark in 1987.
Before the electrification of the New York Central Railroad in 1912-1913, the neighborhood north of Grand Central Terminal was one of open-air railway yards and tracks used by steam locomotives. The electrification and subsequent covering of the yards enabled the continuation of Park Avenue to the north and the construction of new buildings with foundations inside the rail yards, including the New York Central Building.
In 1913, New York Central unveiled a concept for a visual termination point in the city. The original plan was to have this structure be over the railroad's Grand Central Terminal, which contained a simple limestone facade on its northern elevation. However, it was later built just across the street to the north. New York Central built their 34-story headquarters at 230 Park Avenue in 1929.
On September 10, 1931, capo di tutti capi Salvatore Maranzano was murdered in his ninth-floor office here by hitmen sent by Lucky Luciano and Vito Genovese, ambitious underlings whom Maranzano had hired Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll to kill.
The building is a slab-sided skyscraper between East 45th and East 46th Street, with a distinctive design that includes a means of transporting Park Avenue from street level to the divided aerial highway that passes through the building, and then around Grand Central Terminal to 42nd Street, and then back to street level. The top of the building is pyramidal, and capped by an ornate cupola.
"The impressive lobby, planned as a corridor connecting 45th and 46th Streets, echoes the magnificence of the exterior. The design and ornamentation celebrate the prowess of the New York Central Railroad, which had its headquarters on the premises. A sense of imperial grandeur is created by marble walls and bronze detail, which includes extensive use of the railroad's initials. The Chinese Red elevator doors open into cabs with red walls, wood moldings, gift domes, and painted cloudscapes".
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 "G" and "E" respectively.
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 deal in which the ownership of this 2,300,000 sq ft (210,000 m2) building, which was owned by the Helmsley-Spear Management until August 1998, changed hands stipulated that the building would not be renamed again. The building was purchased by Max Capital for $253 million, but in 2006 was sold again to Istithmar, an investment firm owned by the royal family of Dubai, for $705 million. It was later sold to Goldman Sachs in 2007 for over $1 billion.