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1221 Avenue of the Americas
1221 Avenue of the Americas 2016.jpg
1221 Avenue of the Americas. 1251 Avenue of the Americas is visible to left.
General information
Status Complete
Type Office
Architectural style International style
Location 1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
Coordinates 40°45′33″N 73°58′54″W / 40.75917°N 73.98167°W / 40.75917; -73.98167
Construction started 1966
Completed 1969
Opening 1972
Owner Rockefeller Group (Mitsubishi Estate)
Roof 674 feet (205 m)
Top floor 50
Technical details
Floor count 51
Floor area 2,199,982 sq ft (204,385 m2)
Lifts/elevators 36
Design and construction
Architect Wallace Harrison

1221 Avenue of the Americas (formerly also known as the McGraw-Hill Building) is an international-style skyscraper at 1221 Sixth Avenue, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The 51-floor structure has a seven-storey base and a simple, cuboid massing. The intentionally featureless facade offers no decoration and consists of red granite piers alternating with glass stripes to underline the tower's verticality. There is a 35-meter setback from Sixth Avenue, featuring a sunken courtyard dominated by the 15-meter abstract steel sculpture named Sun Triangle by Athelstan Spilhaus. The tower's lobby is clad in dark red terrazzo and red marble, and is also decorated with aphorisms by Plato and John F. Kennedy.


The building was part of the later Rockefeller Center expansion (1960s–1970s) dubbed the "XYZ Buildings". Their plans were first drawn in 1963 by the Rockefeller family's architect, Wallace Harrison, of the architectural firm Harrison & Abramovitz. Their letters correspond to their height. 1251 Avenue of the Americas is the "X" Building as it is the tallest at 750 ft (229 m) and 54 stories, and was the first completed, in 1971. The "Y" is 1221 Avenue of the Americas, which was the second tower completed (1973) and is the second in height (674 ft and 51 stories). The "Z" Building, the shortest and the youngest, is 1211 Avenue of the Americas with 45 stories (592 ft). It is the 80th tallest building in New York.

The building is the former headquarters of McGraw-Hill Financial, from which it derived its former name. Other tenants include Sirius XM Satellite Radio, whose headquarters and broadcast facility are in the building, and the law firm White & Case.

The sunken courtyard of this building contains a large metal triangle designed by Athelstan Spilhaus and fabricated by Tyler Elevator Products, arranged so the Sun aligns with its sides at solstices and equinoxes. When built, the southwestern corner held a display of scale models of planets in the Solar System. A mosaic map of the Earth survives in the northwestern corner.

In 2009, the structure earned LEED (Certified level designation) for Existing Buildings certification from USGBC.

Sunken courtyard
World maps and sculpture Sun Triangle
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