W. R. Grace Building


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The W. R. Grace Building was designed principally by Gordon Bunshaft, and completed in 1974. The W. R. Grace Building was commissioned by the W.R. Grace Company, and was also used by the Deloitte & Touche, LLP formerly Deloitte Haskins & Sells. However, today it is inhabited by several other organizations, most notably AOL Time Warner and Limited Brands.
The W. R. Grace Building is located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas (also known as Sixth Avenue), but the main entrance is on 42nd Street, between 5th and 6th. It overlooks Bryant Park and the New York Public Library. The building size is approximately 1,518,000 rentable square feet, and sits on a site approximately 100 x 442 feet (67,875 square feet). The W. R. Grace Building ownership is currently Brookfield Financial Properties, L.P.

One of the notable aesthetic attributes of the W. R. Grace Building is the concave vertical slope of its north and south facades, on 42nd and 43rd Street. This is similar to another of Bunshaft's creations, the Solow Building, which is no coincidence, as he had used the initial, rejected fa├žade design for that building in his design for the Grace Building. The exterior of the building is covered in white travertine, which forms a contrast against the black windows and makes the building appear brighter than those surrounding it.
The W. R. Grace Building in located on the former site of Stern's department stores' flagship location and headquarters.
In 2005, the City University of New York opened a "Welcome Center" on the ground floor of the Grace Building as a one-stop information center for prospective students.

In Popular Cultural: The W. R. Grace Building was featured in the 2007 Marvel Comics motion picture Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. The Silver Surfer, pursued by the Human Torch, surfs down the south face of The Grace Building, imploding windows in his cosmic-energy wake. At street-level, he continues west down 42nd Street towards Times Square and, eventually, the Lincoln Tunnel. The Surfer's landing damages vehicles parked in front of the building, flipping one car 180 degrees. The end of this scene was incorporated into an auto insurance commercial in which a mother and daughter greet their husband/father as he exits the W. R. Grace Building and begin the task of explaining why their vehicle, which was parked on 42nd St. in front of the Grace Building, is upside-down and ablaze.
The W. R. Grace Building distinctive look was also copied in D.C. Comics for the headquarters of S.T.A.R. Labs, and in The Venture Bros. for 1 Impossible Plaza, home of a Fantastic-Fourish parody team.