This 1930 office tower designed by Eli Jacques Kahn, replaced part of Marble Row, a string of white marble buildings built by Mary Mason Jones, Edith Wharton’s great-aunt, who appears in The Age of Innocence as Mrs. Mingott. The pile known as 745 Fifth Avenue is the stereotypical Art Deco office building. Broad shoulders flank the sides to create a central light channel and an imposing presence.
This is a solid and substantial building, slightly reminiscent of Raymond Hood’s Daily News Building on West 42nd Street. The verticality of its facade treatment is more complementary to the General Motors Building (see The City Review article) across 59th Street than it was to that building’s predessor on the site, the great Savoy Plaza Hotel, and the rest of the Plaza enclave, but this building’s formality was not disruptive of that enclave’s great, elegant ambiance.
Setbacks progressively stagger to a tower topped by an American flag, while at the base the windows have vertical accents to deliver an added sense of height. Visually, it’s as if the entire building is leaning away from you – an illusion to make its 34 stories appear much more.
The bottom three floors are occupied by the menswear section of Bergdorf Goodman’s Department Store the main store building for which lies directly facing across Fifth Avenue at #754.