Midtown’s Springs Mills Building designated


The Springs Mills Building.

Green glass skyskraper was built on L-shaped lot between 1961 and 1963. On April 13, 2010, Landmarks voted unanimously to designate the Springs Mills Building at 104 West 40th Street as an individual City landmark. The Springs Mills linen company hired the firm of Harrison & Abramowitz to construct a 21-story building on an L-shaped through-block lot in 1961. The architects submitted building plans just before the City implemented its comprehensive overhaul of the zoning resolution.

The building’s main entrance is located in its slender 40th Street frontage, accessed through a small plaza. The structure’s wide base occupies the lot’s southern portion along 39th Street and includes setbacks at the sixth and twelfth floors. The building’s thin tower features a tinted green glass curtain wall in the form of an elongated hexagon and divided by aluminum mullions. The building is slightly wider at the center of the lot than at either of its frontages, allowing natural light to reach the structure’s interior.

At a hearing on November 17, 2009, a representative of the building owner agreed that the structure deserved to be considered for landmark status, but asked for additional time to consider whether to request that a portion of the site be exempted from designation. A representative of Docomomo, a Modern Movement architectural advocacy group, testified in support of designation.

At the April meeting, Chair Robert B. Tierney said he was “thrilled” that the Springs Mills Building had reached the designation stage, noting that it would be the eighth Modernist building designated in seven years. Commissioner Fred Bland called it a “marvelous” building designed by an “underappreciated” firm, while Vice Chair Pablo Vengoechea noted the structure’s significance in the development of all-glass curtain walls.

LPC: Springs Mills Building, 104 West 40th Street, Manhattan (LP-2385) (April 13, 2010).

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