3 Park Avenue
Over the course of my career I've worked at nine different addresses, all in Midtown Manhattan, from 34th St., north to 58th Street, and from Third Ave., west to Eighth Ave. - an area covering all of 1.25 square miles. In the past ten years office floor plans with private offices have largely been eliminated in favor of "open architecture" layouts, with workers sitting side-by-side and facing each other (not unlike garment workers in Bangladesh, but instead of sewing machines we have laptops!). Of course, it's been an adjustment for those of us who worked in the private office era, but not as difficult a transition as I feared. And I have great memories of those offices, some of which afforded spectacular views. What follows is a list of those varied views - think of it as my office resume.
800 3rd Ave. (between E. 49th and 50th Streets)
My first office situation, which I shared with a co-worker, was on the 39th floor and looked south down Third Avenue. (1980-1981)
Here I am at 23, a junior media planner at ad agency Scali McCabe Sloves, and I had an office with a great view.
285 Madison Ave. (between 40th and 41st Streets)
Although taking a job at Young & Rubicam was a good career move, it was quite a step down from my previous job in terms of office and view. My office, a converted supply room, looked north onto E. 41st St. so there was little in the way of light. 285 Madison was an old building with windows that could be opened. (A few years before I moved to Y&R an account executive had jumped to his death.) Later I moved to an office on the other side of the building and my view looked south onto 40th St. I had light but not much of a view. (1981-1987)
1345 Ave. of the Americas (between E. 54th/55th Streets)
My office at ad agency NWAyer was on the 39th floor and looked south onto the roof of the Hilton across the street on 54th St. (1987-1989)
The view from the side of the floor looking north was far superior than mine, but I could stroll over to see it.
Worldwide Plaza (W. 50th St./Eighth Ave.)
NWAyer relocated from urbane Avenue of the Americas to this brand new 50-story skyscraper on the "frontier". This would be the furthest west of any of my work addresses. At the time the new neighborhood was a bit sketchy but my office on the 34th floor, which looked west over the Hudson River, afforded views of spectacular sunsets (and on hazy days the view of New Jersey was obscured). In the brutal winter of 1994 I had a great view of the ice-covered Hudson. In the last six months I worked there I moved into a spacious corner office on the building's southwest corner, but I often had to draw the shades because of the blinding afternoon sun. (1989-1995)
The Hudson froze over during the frigid January of 1994.
Those were the days ...
GM Building (Fifth Ave. between 58th & 59th Streets)/
150 E. 42nd St. (between Lexington & Third Avenues)
My first office at Foote, Cone & Belding was on the 18th floor and looked north onto 59th St. If I looked at an angle from my window I could see Central Park. Then a few months after I started we relocated to the old Mobil Building at 150 E. 42nd St. (across the street from the Chrysler Building). There I had three different offices, none with views that were noteworthy. (1995-2002)
Left the corner office behind for a sizable increase in salary - a fair trade-off.
3 Park Ave (34th St./Park Ave.)
This vied with Worldwide Plaza for the best views. There were no towering buildings obstructing the view in any direction (the Empire State Building loomed three blocks west, enhancing the view). My corner office on the 36th floor (for those keeping score, this was my second corner office) looked southeast so I got plenty of light all day. Fifteen months before I started at Carat the 9-11 attacks occurred and co-workers told me of the chilling view they had of the towers. I was working here on the day of the 2003 power blackout and had to walk down 36 flights of steps - without the aid of emergency lighting, which didn't work. (2003-2006)
The glare from the sun obscures the view through the window shades. (If only there were smartphones back then I'd have a whole album of the views!)
622 Third Ave. (between E. 40th and 41st St.)
26 years later I was back on Third Avenue, but eight blocks further south. This is the only office I had that looked east. I usually had the blinds drawn because of the morning sun, but in the late afternoon the sky could have a nice light pink and blue glow created as the sun was setting (especially in the winter months). The work environment at Universal McCann was the most toxic of any I'd experienced and my only respite was gazing out the windows. (2007-2008)
1540 Broadway (corner of W. 46th St.)
Working part-time for Viacom, this was the first time I worked in an office with open architecture, but I still had a spectacular view. Our building overlooked Times Square and my work space was situated in the southwest corner of the 23rd floor, offering me a view of the large electronic billboard on the building where the ball dropped on New Year's Eve. And the building's cafeteria had a great view overlooking the area around the TKTS booth. This was also the first office where I owned a smartphone so I was always snapping photos of the view. (2012-2014)
150 E. 42nd St. (between Lexington/Third Ave.)
This is my second time working in this building, but 13 years apart, and working for a different company (actually, it's Carat, the company I worked for at 3 Park Ave.) and with a different layout. I'm situated on the 12th floor, once again with open architecture. My department is situated on the southwest corner and the view looks down Lexington Ave. There are also windows that look east so there is light throughout the day. (2014 - present)
View from the 12th floor, looking up at the buildings on the corner of Lexington Ave. and E. 41st St.
The sun doesn't need to be shining for there to be interesting views. This photo was shot during the never-ending winter of 2015.