Friday, July 16, 2010

Film Center Building, New York City

Film Center, NYC

The Film Center Building at 630 Ninth Avenue, NYC was designed by Ely Jacques Khan and constructed 1928-29.

Above the main doorway is set back from street level with the sides stepping back into the facade of the building. The decoration in the stonework around the doorway is similar but not identical to the patterns in the metal grill above the doors.

Film Center, NYC

Film Center, NYCBut it is the interior of this building that is so striking and it is the interior that was recognised by the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission in the 1980s.

The listing document specifically mentions many of the elements in the foyer, including the mailbox, directory board and elevator doors.

The photo on the left shows the bottom part of the mail box with wonderful Art Deco lettering and a series of red discs as part of the decoration.

Film Center, NYCThe photo on the right shows the top of the directory board with the same style of lettering used but as opposed to the letterbox, the letters themselves are coloured red.

The elevators are marked with vertical lines either side contrasting with the horizontal banding on the foyer walls and the horizontal decoration on the actual elevator doors.

A decoration made up of geometric shapes, incorporing six red capped cylinders and a single red disc in the middle of the composition, sits, centered, above the elevator door.

Film Center, NYC

Elsewhere in the foyer the decoration takes the form of an abstract mosiac featuring reds, blues, golds and silvers.

Film Center, NYC

There is no doubt this is one of the best intact Art Deco interiors in New York City.

Reference: New York Landmarks Preservation Commission Report, 9th Nov 1982, prepared by William B Stargard, Student Intern, edited by Anthony W Robins, Senior Preservation Specialist


  1. Gorgeous. This is the BEST example of Art Deco architecture I have seen. It has ALL of the elements going for it. Do you know if the lobby of the building open to the public? --Joanne

  2. Agree totally Joanne. It is an amazing lobby. The lobby is open to the public in the sense that most New York buildings are open to the public. You can go in and have a look and perhaps security will allow you to take some pictures.