Philip Morris Headquarters


Warren & Wetmore, the architects who designed Grand Central Terminal, designed the Hotel Belmont, located on this block. The It was designed for August Belmont, Jr. who was responsible for the creation of the Belmont Park Racetrack and in 1902, founded the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT). Belmont had his own entrance into the subway from the hotel which enabled him to go from his office in the Hotel to his private subway car, which he named the Mineola, and tour his underground kingdom. By 1928 the Hotel had closed and the building had been substantially transformed into an office building. Its next incarnation was as the Airlines Building located here because it provided easy access to Grand Central and the Subway lines. By the time Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia laid the cornerstone on April 22, 1940 for the building. It was one of the first and largest buildings to employ the newly invented method of electric welding. The three story high central lobby/waiting room decorated with murals tracing the history of aviation, including depictions of the start of Lindbergh`s flight and his landing at Paris and the Yankee Clipper flying the Atlantic for Pan Am. The building also contained a theater, restaurant, stores, and offices. The building was torn down in 1977 so that the site could be cleared for Philip Morris's headquarter. For many years the Whitney Museum maintained a satellite branch in the lobby.

Constructed, 1982

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