New York Sights to See - The CBS Building
Only 38 stories tall, the CBS building in New York City isn't anywhere near the tallest. Its location at 52nd St and 6th Avenue isn't all that special either. Even its design and construction were not - as buildings go - controversial.
Still, for what it offers both inside and out, the CBS Building is a destination of choice for many visitors to New York City.
The edifice designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen, is
at the apogee of the International
Style, a major architectural style that emerged
in the 1920's and 1930's. Saarinen, a Finnish born architect
of world-renown, also designed the elegant Washington DC airport terminal. The CBS building is his only skyscraper, however.
The building's dark gray exterior is formed by straight-up-to-the-sky
concrete pillars clad in Canadian
black granite alternating with darkened glass. It appears
almost as a modern version of a medieval
castle, with an inviting plaza substituted in the place of
Completed in 1965, the building still houses the CBS corporate
headquarters where decisions affecting billions are made and the
structure is as serious as its purpose. Even sot its stark beauty as an
artistic and architectural icon is undeniable.
It is distinguished as the first skyscraper to use a reinforced concrete
support frame rather than steel. Departing aesthetically as well as
technologically from the past, it deviates boldly from the strict
It is not just another flat glass and metal box. It has panache.
Leaving aside the building itself, CBS in New York also has a lighter side.
Down the block at 524 West 57th St are the headquarters of CBS News and the
main broadcast facility for both radio and TV. Here, both the
outrageous and the serious share office and broadcasting space.
Inside the building the glitzy gossip show 'Inside Edition' is
taped, while just around the corner, CBS News intones its views to the
world. Popular soap operas weep daily from the studios here as well.
CBS also owns two other major studio centers in Manhattan:
These are Studio 58
inside the General
Motors building at 58th St and Fifth
Avenue, and the Ed
Sullivan Theater (Studio 50) at 1697 Broadway.
The Early Show
is taped daily at the Studio 58 facility and David Letterman airs
nightly from Studio 50. Outside the Ed Sullivan theater the David
Letterman Show sign is prominent.
Whether world-class architecture is to your taste, or if you just want
to sit in on one of the tapings for The Early Show or David Letterman,
CBS has something to offer every visitor to New York City.
Tours and tickets are available for those who plan in advance. But, if
your visit is spur-of-the-moment, you might still be able to pick up
tickets at the Times Square
discount booth TKTS.
Selling tickets primarily for Broadway shows, the booth sometimes has
spare tickets for TV show as wells. Also ticket scalpers tend
to hang around the area, so keep your ears open and you just might be
able to get something on the sly.
And, if you just want to enjoy a stellar meal at the base of one of the
world's finest examples of architecture, the restaurant inside the CBS
building plaza is first rate.
Click Here to learn more about sights to see in New York City.
Cities of the World