Saturday, April 22, 2023

Demolition of Rolex USA Building



A Note from Jake: Our Captain Danny originally wrote this superb story and published in on November 28, of 2022 and he recently sent me the new photos below:

It is hard to believe but it finally happened: The Rolex U.S.A. Building has been completely demolished and no longer exists. Captain Danny was recently in New York and snapped the photos below of Rolex's iconic location on the corner of 5th Avenue and 53rd Street in New York, which was a 12-story building Rolex USA had been occupying since the 1970s.


Below are photos of the Rolex U.S.A. building before it was prepared for demolition.



Three years ago, I broke the news about Rolex's redesign plans for its iconic home on the corner of 5th Avenue and 53rd Street in New York, a 12-story building Rolex USA has occupied since the 1970s. 

Last April, demolition preparations of Rolex's headquarters in America were just getting underway at the site, with a portion of the windows boarded up and scaffolding assembly more than halfway complete.

Demolition is progressing, and the building is now wrapped with black netting. It has been razed one-third of the way down. Rolex USA set up a temporary location in the Nike building across the street.

Titan Industrial SVC Corp. is the general contractor in charge of the demolition. 

The new 25-story replacement, which looks like five cubes stacked on top of each other, will have the corrugated windows that use the fluted motif — more and more seen in Rolex's architectural design language.

The new Rolex high-rise is designed by David Chipperfield Architects and developed by Rolex Realty Company. 

"We are proud to have been selected to design the Rolex USA headquarters building," Sir David Chipperfield said. "Our team is committed to creating an exemplary building befitting the heritage and culture of the Rolex brand as well as its prominent 5th Avenue location." 

Sir Chipperfield is a 2016-2017 Rolex Mentor.

A Rolex store will take up the northern corner of the ground floor, and a separate entrance to the tower will sit to the south. A couple of escalators will bring occupants to a grand three-story atrium beginning on the second level.

I believe it is no coincidence Rolex headquarters in the U.S. is right next to Madison Avenue, the center of American advertising since the 1920s. 

When I think of Madison Avenue I think of the backdrop for the AMC television drama "Mad Men," which focuses on the advertising industry during the 1960s and where actor Jon Hamm plays Don Draper.

The new 165,000-square-foot building will become an important symbol of Rolex’s presence in Manhattan — and America. The building is designed in accordance with LEED Platinum standard, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating for environmental efficiency. It takes into consideration the increasing concerns of sustainability and energy consumption.

No official completion date for the building has been announced, though sometime in late 2024 is likely.

If you missed it, I wrote also about the new Rolex building in Dallas here