1221 Avenue of the Americas

The "Y" tower in the Sixth Avenue XZY corridor, at 2.5 million square feet the McGraw–Hill Building is the largest in New York City to have earned LEED for Existing Buildings certification from USGBC.

Rich in history, 1221 Avenue of the Americas – or the McGraw-Hill Building as it’s known today, the third building to bear the name – was originally designed in the International Style by architect Wallace Harrison’s Harrison, Abramovitz & Harris firm as a part of Rockefeller Center’s 1960s expansion, which included the three adjacent “XYZ” buildings, all of which feature similar styling and monolithic massing. Wallace Harrison, in fact, was a close personal friend of Nelson Rockefeller. Coupled with his straightforward, functional design aesthetic, Harrison became known for executing large public projects across New York City and the rest of New York State.

Owned today by SL Green, 1221 Avenue of the Americas is the largest building in New York City that has earned LEED for Existing Buildings certification from USGBC. In 2009, the tower earned a Certified level designation (scoring 37 points) on the heels of an effort spearheaded by the tower’s property manager, the Rockefeller Group, which implemented a LEED action plan for operations and management policies and practices. Along with energy reduction the project team focused on reducing and diverting waste from landfills, increasing indoor air quality, and implementing a green cleaning and recycling program. At the time it earned its LEED-EB certification in 2009, 1221 Avenue of the Americas was just the tenth building in New York City to obtain the designation.

Anchored by the McGraw-Hill Companies, which extensively renovated the 51-story building’s infrastructure, lobby, and retail spaces in 2000, 1221 Avenue of the Americas offers 2.5 million square feet of prime, Midtown Class A office space. Notable tenants include Sirius XM Satellite Radio, which occupied 180,000 square feet on the towers 9th, 36th, and 37th floors. The sunken plaza in the front of 1221 Avenue of the Americas features a large 50-foot stainless steel sculpture (“Sun Triangle”) designed by Athelstan Spilhaus. The sculpture’s design allows for the sun to align with its sides at the winter and summer solstice, as well as the equinoxes.

1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York  
Rockefeller Center 
LEED–EB V2.0, Certified 
SL Green 
Harrison, Abramovitz & Harris 
Year Built
Square Footage
2,500,000 square feet 
Largest LEED–EB–certified building in New York City; notable tenants include Sirius XM Radio and Del Frisco's in one of the building's four retail spaces.