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 erection 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 MO Helmsley Building was designated a New York City Landmark in 1987.
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”.