Milliken And Springs Buildings: Not The Same!

Two of my favorite buildings are pictured here, at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 39th/40th Streets. For the longest time I thought they were both the Milliken Building. Yet I let the fact checker loose and they turn out to be not the same building.

The Milliken Company Office Building, the low gray box you see in front, was designed by we-don't-know. Songlines says James D. Stephen, but this site seems to believe that Carson + Lundin Architect in 1958. The fact checker is confused. One thing is clear, it was done in an era where the 8-story office headquarters on Sixth Avenue made perfect sense.
It has gorgeous street-level details: Stripes of black granite set between stainless steel strips. And the lobby has been immaculately maintained: checkerboard florescent lights and original door hardware. It is one of the few examples of a pleasurably rich, yet modern, street lobby.
The Springs Building was designed by Harrison Abramovitz 1963. I did a project for an internet startup in this building (it never got built, September 2000 happened and all bubbles popped). It has a gorgeously shaped floorplate, with amazing views of Bryant Park. The size of each floorplate is ridiculously unusable except for internet startups that require no walls, conference rooms, or anything more than 3,500 square feet of useable space.


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