Fred F. French Building
Fred F. French Building
4.5
Monday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
About
Height is not the only measure of a skyscraper's worth - this alliterative edifice has a lovely Art Deco/Moorish flavor.
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Midtown
This is the iconic New York that so many visitors imagine before they visit—spectacular skyscrapers like the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building, iconic public buildings like Grand Central Terminal and the New York Public Library, and the non-stop hustle and bustle of the city streets. Fifth Avenue is a shopper's heaven where you can find every kind of store imaginable, with fashion brands ranging from the affordable to the ultra-fancy. Visit the Rockefeller Center to experience towering Art Deco grandeur, and foodies will love the busy restaurants that stay open late in Koreatown. After dark, Midtown calms down a bit, but at any time of day or night it still feels 100% New York.
How to get there
  • 5th Ave • 4 min walk
  • Grand Central • 5 min walk

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles20 reviews
Excellent
11
Very good
7
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Alexandra M
Courcoury, France24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Friends
Hardly anyone except real Art Deco nuts know about this building. The lobby is magnificent ( I don't know if the rest of the building is ever open to the public) and the friendly desk clerk is happy for you to wander. Takes 5 minutes but tells the story of pre- crash American wealth and opulence. Well worth stepping off 5th Avenue to have a look.
Written 27 December 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Luvs2TravelAnywhere
New York City, NY7,202 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016
It is really worth popping into the Fred F. French Building on the NE corner of 45th and 5th. This Skyscaper is a landmark and the lobby is magnificent.
Written 5 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

gregsf11
San Francisco, CA830 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2014 • Solo
Worth a quick stop if you're in the area and a fan of architecture. The lobby is beautiful and unlike the more famous Woolworth Building, they don't care if you're a tourist and you poke around and snap a few photos.
Written 21 July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

31HomeGames
Charlotte, NC1,460 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Couples
This is a spectacular 38-story skyscraper at the corner of 45th and 8th in the heart of midtown. If you enjoy old architecture, this is a must see. The building, erected in 1927, is on the national registry of historic places. The building was fully restored in the 1990’s. The exterior is beautifully decorated, at ground level but also at several places between the ground and the upper floors. The gold-colored entrances are wonderful. The lobby is open to the public and definitely worth a visit inside. The lobby walls, floors and ceilings are exquisitely decorated. The gilt-bronze elevator doors are incredible.
Written 21 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rumples
Tucson, AZ11,683 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Solo
This 1927 office building at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 45th Street displays beautiful decorations outside and inside. Multicolored glazed ceramic ware embellishes the upper stories. A close look reveals griffins on the facade that symbolize progress and bee hives with golden bees, representing industry and thrift. Mercury appears as the God of Commerce. The architectural design includes a series of massive setbacks, a typical element in the 1920s. The skyscraper, the first to go up north of 42nd Street, has 38 stories. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.

But the piece de resistance for me is the stunning lobby. Unlike many other buildings that keep the public out, this one welcomes visitors at the lobby level. The man at the desk stopped talking with a colleague to give me a pleasant greeting. They both chatted with me for a while before I looked around.

Thirteen gilded-bronze elevator doors immediately caught my attention. Each features eight panels with symbolic figures. The Italian travertine floor and marble walls give an elegant look to the area. The ceiling shows off beautiful decorations, many loosely based on the Ishtar Gate that led to Babylon. Eight distinctive chandeliers offer light.

Fred F. French is the real estate developer, who had the building constructed.
Written 12 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jaja000
Breda, The Netherlands389 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Solo
This is the one of the oldest skyscraper uptown. It has a small but beautiful lobby. Most tourist pass this hidden gem, not knowing it's there. It will take 5 minutes out of your schedule
Written 21 May 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

S1las
Portsmouth, UK236 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2016 • Family
Had read about this building and had a moment so had a look in the lobby area and yes it's a gem, if you have a few minutes spare it's worth taking a look it's magnificent.
Written 21 February 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John Y
London, UK82 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Couples
It's on 5th Ave near the Trump Tower and St Patrick's cahedral and you might simply walk past. Stop! Look up! Go inside! It is exquisite - a real symbol of the New York hayday! Gloriously art deco, opulent, gold, brass, painted decoration on ceilings and doors. This is a true NYC wonder - and it costs nothing! Such tasteful extravagance...
Written 14 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Patricia T
Glen Ellyn, IL12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018
I was just out to see the sights of New York and happened to pass by this delightful art-deco facade. After reading the plaque, I went inside and found a beautiful interior and great architectural features of the art-deco style. What a beautiful landmark and we are fortunate to be able to appreciate it’s beauty.

Written 26 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Oliver S
New York City, NY11,312 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Solo
Not bad for a poor kid from the Bronx raised by a hovering mother and a hard-drinking father. Fred F. French was born in the late decades of the 19th Century, went through multiple adventures, some luckier than others, but never stopped striving to achieve success. And he did. Not only he built this magnificent structure on Fifth Ave & 42nd, but he is also the brain and the money behind Tudor City. And he was planning to build something even more grandiose in the East Village, but the 1929 crash prevented him. The first high-rise in Manhattan to use innovative design in order to maximize the amount of rentable space, the outside of the French building drew extensively on ideas from the ancient Middle East. The rising sun on the Northern and Southern facades of the building symbolize renewal, while the golden bees emblazoned in terracotta stand for “thrift and industry”. Just as the Woolworth building in downtown, the French building is architecture as autobiography. To learn more about it, I cannot recommend highly enough Donald L. Miller's “Supreme City”. For now, I'll let the pictures do the talking. Nobody would bother you if you want to spend any amount of time in the Lobby photographing it. Free. Unlike the Chanin Building, where they chase you away the moment they see your camera (separate review).
Written 10 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Fred F. French Building - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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