The Bear Stearns Building is located at 383 Madison Avenue in New York City and is so large that it takes a full city block. It is located at Vanderbilt Avenues and 47th and 48th Streets. Conveniently located in midtown Manhattan, the building is only one block west of the affluent Park Avenue and borders the western edge of the famous Rockefeller Center.
In the 1980’s the original site for the iconic building had a proposal for a 72 story tall tower that was unable to be constructed due to a restriction on air space. In the year 2000 developers Sterling Equities & Hines Interests commissioned architect David Childs (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP) to build what would become the 88th highest building in the world for Bear Stearns & Company.
383 Madison Avenue was officially completed in 2001 but the official ceremony and grand opening of 383 Madison Avenue (better known as the Bear Stearns Building) did not happen until 2002. But the building was not just designed to be one of the tallest skyscrapers in New York; the primary design was to limit business interruptions through massive oil and water reservoirs and unique uninterruptible power supplies and back-up emergency power systems. These unique properties of 383 Madison Avenue helped it achieve the New York Construction Award of Merit in 2001 and the BOMA Award in both 2002 and 2003.
The architectural style is known as” post modern” and stands 757 feet tall with an octagonal-shaped tower sitting atop a rectangular base. But the most predominant feature of the building is the 70 foot, seven story octagonal glass crown that stands proud within the New York City skyline.
Like most skyscrapers it is made of steel to withstand both natural elements and disasters. The exterior of the steel is clad in “Deer Island” granite and features large tinted glass windows with chrome colored metal trim.
The interior of 383 Madison Avenue features 47 floors and has a total surface space of 1,200,000 square feet. When originally opened 383 Madison Avenue was the world headquarters for Bear Stearns’ trading operations and was strategically located on the top six floors of the eight story rectangular base. Each trading floor accommodated nearly 420 traders on a daily basis and covered approximately 42,000 square feet. The interior design of the building also has some very unique features. An average office has 12 foot tall ceilings while 383 Madison Avenue has an open concept with the octagon tower reflecting what appear to be several extremely tall trading floors.
But just like any other architectural structure the Bear Stearns Build was not without criticism. Joseph Giovannini of the New York Magazine was quoted as saying “As if revealing the subconscious desire of what the tower really wanted to be, a tiara of translucent glass emerges at the top.” “The notion of a tiara is lovely, but given the girth of this one, it is more like a choker.”
Upon the collapse and sale of Bear Stearn in 2008 the Bear Stearns building is now owned by JP Morgan Chase. But it is no longer referred to as the Bear Stearns building it is commonly known to New Yorkers as New York City’s lighthouse because when illuminated at night the seven story glass crown shines like a beacon in the night.
Source by Edward Winslow