Bearing a striking resemblance to the AT&T Building across the street – Philip Johnson’s masterpiece – though it predates that structure by half of a century, 551 Madison Avenue is the former Winslow Hotel and was converted into office space in 1982. Today, the Northern Italianate-style, 17-story tower – which features brickwork, inset stone trim, and rooftop arcades – sports dual LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance and Energy Star designations. It earned the former in 2010, scoring 5/10 points in Materials & Resources and 7/14 in Water Efficiency, on its way to earning 44 points overall and a Certified rating from USGBC.
Built in 1921, 551 Madison Avenue was originally one of the Allerton Houses, a chain of modestly priced hotels for white-collar workers begun in 1916 by James S. Cushman. Cushman was a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants and a grandson of Don Alonzo Cushman, an active Chelsea real estate developer. He named the chain of hotels for Mary Allerton: one of his Mayflower ancestors. The chain failed during the Depression and the buildings were converted to typical hotels. 551 Madison became the Winslow Hotel, which it remained until it was converted into a 110,000-square-foot office tower in 1982.
During that conversion, renovation architect Edward V. Giannasca inserted vertical strips of reflective glass but retained 551 Madison’s original masonry as piers in a deliberate reference to the AT&T Building across the street (which was under construction at the time). Owned today by LaSalle Investment Management and managed by JLL, 551 Madison Avenue is also known as the Mellon Financial Building. Notable tenants include Mellon Bank and LaCoste.
- 551 Madison Avenue, New York, New York
- Plaza District
- LEED–EB: OM, Certified; Energy Star
- LaSalle Investment Management
- Arthur Loomis Harmon
- Year Built
- Square Footage
- 125,000 square feet
- Formerly the Winslow Hotel; converted into office space in 1982; deliberate design references to AT&T Building across the street.