Year built 1967 -1971
Height 228,60m / 750ft
Surface 195.096m2 / 2,100,000sq ft
Architect Harrison & Abramovitz & Harris
One of the quintessential New York skyscrapers, 1251 Avenue of the Americas embodies the city during its mid-20th century growth spurt. The building features narrow rows of vertical masonry columns climbing into the sky. The columns frame windows that are recessed, but not too recessed like so many similar skyscrapers. Its narrow face is on Sixth Avenue while its broad sides extend westward emphasizing just how massive this building is.
For 20 years 1251 Avenue of the Americas in New York City was known as the Exxon Building, the center tower in Rockefeller Center West. When Mitsui Fudosan, world's largest real estate company, bought the building in 1990, they embarked on an ambitious capital improvement program budgeted at $50 million, a sum equivalent to the cost of constructing a new 20 story Manhattan tower.
The 1251 Avenue of the Americas, was part of the later Rockefeller Center expansion (1960s-1970s) dubbed the "XYZ Buildings" on Sixth Avenue, (also known as Avenue of the Americas). Their plans were first drawn in 1963 by The Rockefeller family's architect, Wallace Harrison of the architectural firm, Harrison and Abramovitz.
Their letters correspond to their height. 1251 is the "X" Building as it is the tallest at 750 ft (229 m) and 54 stories, but was the second one completed (1971). The "Y" is the McGraw-Hill Building, at 1221 Avenue of the Americas, which was the first completed (1969) and is the second in height (674 ft - 51 stories). The "Z" Building, the shortest and the youngest, is the Celanese Building at 1211 Avenue of the Americas with 45 stories (592 ft).
Due to the buildings' excess bulk, as opposed to the allowances given by zoning, the western ends of the plots were to be used as north-south public promenades running through each block. The vertical facade striping consists of narrow limestone-clad piers as vertical structural members, with a similar structural system used on the other buildings within the new complex.
The 54-storey building occupies the plot opposite the GE Building, and its vertically accentuated form rises to the height of 228.5 meters, being the second-tallest building in the whole Rockefeller Center. Facing Sixth Avenue, there is a sunken plaza with a large pool and fountains as well as trees and the lifelike bronze statue Out to Lunch, of the same series as the one outside the former JPMorgan Chase Mitsui Fudosan offices.