CBS Building

The CBS Building in New York City, also known as Black Rock, is the headquarters of the CBS broadcasting network. Located at 51 West 52nd Street at the corner of Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas), the Eero Saarinen designed building opened in 1965. It is 38 stories and 490 feet (150 m) tall with approximately 872,000 square feet (81,000 m2) rentable of space. The interior and furnishings were designed by Saarinen and Florence Knoll.

CBS Building
General information
Architectural styleModernist
Location51 West 52nd Street, Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Coordinates40°45′39.98″N 73°58′43.72″W / 40.7611056°N 73.9788111°W / 40.7611056; -73.9788111
Current tenantsCBS
Construction started1961
Height491.01 feet (149.66 m)
Technical details
Floor count38
Design and construction
ArchitectEero Saarinen
DesignatedOctober 21, 1997[2]
Reference no.1971


The building was the result of intricate planning between Eero Saarinen and CBS's then-president, Frank Stanton. Its concrete structural system was developed by Mario Salvadori. Unlike some major skyscrapers built in that section of midtown Manhattan during the 1950s and '60s, its pillars are more dominant than its windows. It received its nickname "Black Rock" for its dark granite cladding.

The company moved to its new headquarters from longterm lease space at 485 Madison Avenue at 52nd Street. Prior to the building's completion, CBS moved its radio network studios—the CBS News network radio studios on the 17th floor of 485 Madison and other studios across the street in the CBS Studio Building—to the CBS Broadcast Center on 57th Street starting in 1964. The TV news studios, based mostly at the Graybar Building at Grand Central Terminal, also moved to the Broadcast Center around that period of time, starting with the CBS Evening News studio-newsroom in 1963.

The CBS Building was the longtime home of CBS's New York City flagship radio stations, WCBS (AM) and WCBS-FM, until 2000, following the merger with Viacom. At that time WCBS (AM) joined the network at the Broadcast Center, and WCBS-FM moved to One Astor Plaza. As of December 2011, WCBS AM&FM relocated to studios at 345 Hudson Street in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Manhattan.

Gastrotypographicalassemblage, a 35-foot (11 m) wide by 8½ foot tall mural designed by Lou Dorfsman decorated the cafeteria.[3] The work (removed circa 1995) used varied typefaces of hand-milled wood type to list all of the foods offered to patrons.[4] The ground floor also features a restaurant, originally called "The Ground Floor", now an upscale Chinese, that is open to the public.[5][6]

In December 2019, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said the newly combined Viacom and CBS company is looking to sell the building. "Black Rock is not an asset we need to own and we believe that money would be put to better use elsewhere." [7]

"Broadcast Row"Edit

The CBS Building is part of a virtual Broadcast Row on Sixth Avenue. The NBC headquarters—the Comcast Building in Rockefeller Center, home of NBC News and MSNBC—is located south on Sixth Avenue at 50th Street. South of CBS and NBC, Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network have their streetside studios in the former Celanese building at 1211 Avenue of the Americas at Fox Corporation headquarters, in the west extension of Rockefeller Center.

Prior to its acquisition by Capital Cities Communications, ABC's headquarters was at 1330 Sixth Avenue (corner of 54th Street), two blocks north of CBS. In 1989, ABC moved to West 66th Street and Columbus Avenue, just west of Central Park, in the neighborhood where the network already had many TV and radio studios.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "CBS Building". Emporis. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "CBS Building" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. October 21, 1997. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  3. ^ Heller, Steven. "Lou Dorfsman, Design Chief at CBS, Dies at 90", The New York Times, October 25, 2008. Accessed October 26, 2008.
  4. ^ Anwyl, Richard. "Rebuilding a Legacy: The Gastrotypographicalassemblage" Archived May 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, AIGA, March 5, 2008. Accessed October 26, 2008.
  5. ^ "The Midtown Book". The City Review. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  6. ^ China Grill Management
  7. ^ Weprin, Alex. "CBS' Historic New York Headquarters to Be Sold". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 10, 2019.

Coordinates: 40°45′39.98″N 73°58′43.72″W / 40.7611056°N 73.9788111°W / 40.7611056; -73.9788111