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CBS Building

The CBS Building in New York City, also known as "Black Rock", is the headquarters of CBS Corporation. Located at 51 West 52nd Street at the corner of Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas), the Eero Saarinen-designed building opened in 1965. It is 38 stories and 490 feet (150 m) tall with approximately 872,000 square feet (81,000 m2) rentable of space. The interior and furnishings were designed by Saarinen and Florence Knoll.


  • Background 1
  • "Broadcast Row" 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4


The building was the result of intricate planning between Eero Saarinen and CBS's then-president, Frank Stanton. Its concrete structural system was developed by Mario Salvadori. Unlike some major skyscrapers built in that section of midtown Manhattan during the 1950s and 60s, its pillars are more dominant than its windows. It received its nickname "Black Rock" for its dark granite cladding.

The company moved to its new headquarters from longterm lease space at 485 Madison Avenue at 52nd Street. Prior to the building's completion, CBS moved its radio network studios—the CBS News network radio studios on the 17th floor of 485 Madison and other studios across the street in the CBS Studio Building—to the CBS Broadcast Center on 57th Street starting in 1964. The TV news studios, based mostly at the Graybar Building at Grand Central Terminal, also moved to the Broadcast Center around that period of time, starting with the CBS Evening News studio-newsroom in 1963.

The CBS Building was the longtime home of CBS's New York City flagship radio stations, WCBS (AM) and WCBS-FM, until 2000, following the merger with Viacom. At that time WCBS (AM) joined the network at the Broadcast Center, and WCBS-FM moved to One Astor Plaza. As of December 2011, WCBS AM&FM relocated to studios at 345 Hudson Street in Manhattan's Hudson Square neighborhood.

Gastrotypographicalassemblage, a 35-foot (11 m) wide by 8½ foot tall mural designed by Lou Dorfsman decorated the cafeteria.[1] The work (removed circa 1995) used varied typefaces of hand-milled wood type to list all of the foods offered to patrons.[2]

"Broadcast Row"

The CBS Building is part of a virtual Broadcast Row on Sixth Avenue. The NBC headquarters—the GE Building in Rockefeller Center, home of NBC News and MSNBC—is located south on Sixth Avenue at 50th Street. South of CBS and NBC, Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network have their streetside studios in the former Celanese building at 1211 Avenue of the Americas at News Corporation headquarters, in the west extension of Rockefeller Center.

Prior to its acquisition by Capital Cities Communications, the American Broadcasting Company's headquarters were at 1330 Sixth Avenue (corner of 54th Street), two blocks north of CBS. In the mid-1980s, ABC moved to West 66th Street and Columbus Avenue, just west of Central Park, in the neighborhood where the network already had many TV and radio studios.

The local cable channel SportsNet New York has its own streetside studios on the first floor of the Time-Life Building in Rockefeller Center west, on Sixth Avenue at 51st Street, just across from CBS. The studio was previously occupied by Time and Life magazines' sister Time Warner division CNN, and CNN's breakfast show American Morning. The program has since moved north to CNN's New York bureau at Columbus Circle.

See also


  1. ^ Heller, Steven. "Lou Dorfsman, Design Chief at CBS, Dies at 90", The New York Times, October 25, 2008. Accessed October 26, 2008.
  2. ^ Anwyl, Richard. "Rebuilding a Legacy: The Gastrotypographicalassemblage", AIGA, March 5, 2008. Accessed October 26, 2008.

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