The butt of many comedic jokes is the cliched man who is afraid to ask for directions or information. I am not that type of man - perhaps lax at times to ask if it is inconvenient to find someone. I certainly value the process of discovery and doing things for oneself, but how far does one want to go to learn things already known? How many wheels do you really want to reinvent.
The building in the enter of the photo with the distinctive top has been an enigma for some time - I have an older photo which I wanted to use previously on this website, however I tired of trying to identify it using online searches and printed references in my library. I resigned myself to a future trip where I would just visit the building itself rather than ferret out its name via GPS or triangulation.
So I forgot about it until my recent jaunt to the Plaza Hotel when I saw it haunting me in the distance once more while chatting with the doorman who had worked there for two decades. This type of person can be a great source of information in the city - seasoned doormen and older taxi drivers have the luxury of meeting thousands of individuals from all walks of life over years of time. They also become acquainted with the details of places and things with nuggets of info and insider gossip. So as I walked away it occurred to me that a quick jog back to the doorman and a quick query might easily settle the identity of this building. And it did.
The Four Seasons Hotel at 51 E. 57th Street was completed in 1993 and designed by world renowned architect I.M. Pei and Frank Williams. Pei's resume includes projects like the glass pyramid at the Louvre museum in Paris. This 54-story building is the city's tallest hotel. It is clad in French sandstone and capped with the spectacular Ty Warner penthouse, a nine-room suite with 25-foot ceilings and cantilevered glass balconies, occupies the entire top floor with wraparound 360-degree views of the city. Amenities include a butler, fabrics woven from platinum and gold, a personal trainer and a private chauffeur with a Rolls Royce Phantom.
The lobby has marble floors and a soaring, back lit translucent onyx ceiling. If you are in the neighborhood, drop in for a peak ...