1271 Avenue of the Americas

  (Redirected from Time-Life Building)

1271 Avenue of the Americas is a 48-story office building located in Rockefeller Center in New York City. It opened in 1959 as the Time & Life Building, designed by architect Wallace Harrison, of Harrison, Abramovitz, and Harris.[2]

1271 Avenue of the Americas
Time-life building.jpg
1271 Avenue of the Americas
General information
Architectural styleModernist
Location1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York City
Coordinates40°45′37″N 73°58′51″W / 40.760372°N 73.980799°W / 40.760372; -73.980799Coordinates: 40°45′37″N 73°58′51″W / 40.760372°N 73.980799°W / 40.760372; -73.980799
Construction started1957
OwnerRockefeller Group
ManagementRockefeller Group
Top floor587 ft (179 m)
Technical details
Floor count48
Floor area1,399,308 sq ft (130,000.0 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectWallace Harrison of Harrison, Abramovitz, and Harris
Main contractorGeorge A. Fuller Co.
DesignatedJuly 16, 2002 (Interior)
Reference no.2119


Buildings of Rockefeller Center

Buildings and structures in Rockefeller Center:
1 Rockefeller Plaza
10 Rockefeller Plaza
La Maison Francaise
British Empire Building
30 Rockefeller Plaza
International Building
50 Rockefeller Plaza
1230 Avenue of the Americas
Radio City Music Hall
1270 Avenue of the Americas
75 Rockefeller Plaza
600 Fifth Avenue
608 Fifth Avenue
1271 Avenue of the Americas
1251 Avenue of the Americas
1221 Avenue of the Americas
1211 Avenue of the Americas

1271 Avenue of the Americas was the first of four in Rockefeller Center designed by Harrison, Abramovitz, & Harris on the west side of Sixth Avenue. Harris served as the building's project manager and was responsible for overall planning. The Time & Life Building was the first expansion of Rockefeller Center west of the Avenue of the Americas. Air rights were purchased from the Roxy Theatre to the west. The Roxy was torn down in 1960 to erect an office tower connected to the Time & Life Building.

Construction on the Time-Life Building's steelwork started in April 1958,[3] and the structure topped out in November of that year.[4] The cornerstone of the building was laid in June 1959, after the building's structure had been completed,[5] and the first tenants began moving into the tower in December 1959.[6]

In July 2002, the building's ground floor interior was made an interior landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.[7]

In May 2014, Time Inc announced that the company was planning to leave the Time & Life Building for the Brookfield Place complex in lower Manhattan.[8]


The building is clad in green glass and features column-free floors of 28,000 square feet (2,600 m2). Large murals by Josef Albers and Fritz Glarner adorn its lobby, which integrates a serpentine patterned sidewalk design found on the sidewalks of Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach with the adjacent sidewalk,[2] a tribute to its location along Avenue of the Americas.

The Hemisphere ClubEdit

The Hemisphere Club, a members-only restaurant during the day, was on the 48th floor. Tn the evenings it opened to the public as the Tower Suite. The restaurant was operated by Restaurant Associates, which also operated The Four Seasons Restaurant, La Fonda del Sol, The Rainbow Room, The Forum of the Twelve Caesars, and later Windows on the World. The Hemisphere Club closed sometime after 1991.[9]

La Fonda del SolEdit

La Fonda del Sol was a Latin American–themed restaurant opened in the Time & Life Building's lobby in 1960 by Joseph Baum.[10] It featured bright, colorful, whimsical interiors designed by Alexander Girard and furniture by Charles Eames. It closed in 1971 and was replaced with a Fidelity Investments branch.[11]

Time-Life ChairsEdit

In addition to furniture for the La Fonda del Sol restaurant, Charles Eames designed iconic chairs for the offices of Time Incorporated which have become known as Time-Life Chairs.[12] Eames designed them as a favor to Henry Luce, who had allowed Eames to use photos from the Time-Life archives for the pavilion he designed at the 1959 American National Exhibition in Moscow.[13] The chairs remain in production and popular to this day, manufactured by Herman Miller of Zeeland, MI, though the original design with four legs at the base has been revised to include a fifth leg, referred to as a 5 star-base, for stability and to meet updated codes.[14]


Time Inc., the publisher of Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, House & Home, and Architectural Forum magazines, initially occupied 21 floors. CNN's American Morning was based there from 2002 to 2006. Current tenants include Bessemer Trust, Blank Rome, H.I.G. Capital, Latham & Watkins, Major League Baseball, and Mizuho Securities USA.[15]

In fictionEdit

1271 Avenue of the Americas Sidewalk
  • Starting in Season 4 of the television series Mad Men, the fictional headquarters of the advertising agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (changed in Season 6 to Sterling Cooper & Partners) is located in Suite 3750 of the Time & Life Building (on the 37th floor). In a fifth-season episode, "At the Codfish Ball", the characters eat at the Tower Suite. The agency's offices also prominently feature Eames Time-Life Chairs. On March 23, 2015, AMC, the network on which Mad Men airs, unveiled a bench in front of the building which features a sculpture of the iconic black silhouette of lead character Don Draper in the show's opening credits.[16]




  1. ^ "Time-Life Building". Emporis. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "TIME & LIFE BUILDING : Landmarks Preservation Commission" (PDF). Nyc.gov. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 3, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  3. ^ "Time-Life Building Gets First Steel" (PDF). The New York Times. April 4, 1958. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  4. ^ "Time-Life Building Tops Out at 587-Ft. With a Yule Tree" (PDF). The New York Times. November 25, 1958. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  5. ^ "CORNERSTONE SET FOR SKYSCRAPER; Copper Box at Time and Life Building on 6th Ave. Gets Data of Century at Fete" (PDF). The New York Times. June 24, 1959. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  6. ^ "TIME'S TENANTS BEGIN MOVING IN; Finishing Touches Are Put on 48-Story Structure, Rising 587 Feet". The New York Times. December 22, 1959. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
  7. ^ "Time & Life Building" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  8. ^ "Time Inc. to Move to Lower Manhattan's Brookfield Place". Bloomberg.com. May 22, 2014. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  9. ^ Danovich, Tove (April 30, 2012). "The Hemisphere Club / Tower Suite on Mad Men". Eater.com. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  10. ^ Claiborne, Craig (December 9, 1960). "Latin-American Zest on Midtown Menu". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Eames Executive – Executive Chair". Herman Miller. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  13. ^ "Eames Executive Chair – Design Within Reach". Dwr.com. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  14. ^ "Eames Executive Chair – Executive Chairs – Chairs – Herman Miller Official Store". Store.hermanmiller.com. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  15. ^ June 07, Betsy Kim; PM, 2019 at 07:54. "Rockefeller Group's 1271 Sixth Ave. Nearly 100% Occupied". GlobeSt. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
  16. ^ Renner, Eric (March 23, 2015). "AMC unveils 'The Draper Bench' outside New York's Time-Life Building". EW.com. Retrieved October 17, 2016.
  17. ^ Geiger, Daniel (June 7, 2019). "Rockefeller Group fills huge hole on Sixth Avenue". Crain's New York.
  18. ^ "Bessemer Trust Leases 239,000 square feet and top seven floors at 1271 Avenue of the Americas". Rockefeller Group. September 25, 2018. Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  19. ^ La Guerre, Liam (May 15, 2018). "Law Firm Blank Rome Leaving Chrysler Building for 138K SF in Midtown". Commercial Observer.
  20. ^ Rizzi, Nicholas (June 7, 2019). "Investment Bank Greenhill & Co. Takes 78K SF in Midtown". Commercial Observer. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  21. ^ Rizzi, Nicholas (April 5, 2019). "Private Equity Firm H.I.G. Capital Relocating to 58K SF Within Midtown". Commercial Observer.
  22. ^ La Guerre, Liam (April 30, 2018). "Latham & Watkins Leases 407K SF in Midtown Relocation". Commercial Observer.
  23. ^ Bockmann, Rich (November 16, 2017). "Major League Baseball gives back 75K sf on Sixth Avenue". TheRealDeal.
  24. ^ Cuozzo, Steve (November 20, 2017). "Mizuho to triple its square footage at former Time-Life building". New York Post.


  • Postal, Matthew A. (July 16, 2002). "Time-Life Building" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

External linksEdit