711 Third Avenue is situated between 44th and 45th Streets, one block east of Grand Central Terminal. Designed by William Lescaze & Associates, this classic mid-century modern building features a celebrated original mosaic mural designed by the famous Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann, installed when the building was constructed in 1956. 711 Third Avenue was raised to contemporary office standards in 2010 with a gallery-style lobby that showcases Greek Thassos white marble and grey-blue de Savoi marble. New elevator cabs, windows, corridors, and restrooms round out the elegant renovation. The building also includes a three-level 165-car parking garage with access on 44th and 45th Streets. 711 Third Avenue received the ENERGY STAR label which designates it as one of the most efficient buildings nationwide.
711 Third Avenue is an important work by the architecture firm William Lescaze, a major figure in early Modernist architecture in America. Swiss-born, Lescaze’s first major commission was the celebrated PSFS Building for the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, which he designed in 1932 in partnership with Philadelphia architect George Howe and was considered the first true International Style skyscraper in the world.
Created for the developer and art collector William Kaufman, 711 Third Avenue was the first major postwar project on Third Avenue and was one of several that Kaufman would construct along what was then seen as a seedy district, overshadowed by the infamous Third Avenue elevated railway. Kaufman was so confident that Third Avenue would become a major office corridor he began construction of 711 Third before the elevated railway was demolished.
Treated by Lescaze as an extraordinary stacked cubist sculpture, the base of the building features horizontal bands of ribbon windows and brickwork while the upper stories are set back from the main base and are finished in elegant charcoal-gray brick. The lobby’s mosaic mural is by Hans Hoffman, a German-born American artist whose work both prefigured and influenced Abstract Expressionism. Characteristic of Hoffman’s belief in color, form and texture, the boldly conceived work sheathes the elevator banks in a dazzling array of reds, blues, greens and yellows, one of Hoffman’s few designs in this medium and at this scale.
SL Green restored 711 Third Avenue, returning it to its origin point as the premiere skyscraper on Third Avenue and one of Midtown’s architectural gems.