DuMont Building

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DuMont Building
General information
Location 515 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, New York City
Coordinates 40°45′36″N 73°58′26″W / 40.759897°N 73.973935°W / 40.759897; -73.973935Coordinates: 40°45′36″N 73°58′26″W / 40.759897°N 73.973935°W / 40.759897; -73.973935
Completed 1931
Owner Newmark & Co.
Management Newmark & Co.
Top floor 162 m (531 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 42[1]
Floor area 250,000 sq ft (23,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architect J.E.R. Carpenter
Developer John H. Carpenter

The DuMont Building (also known as 515 Madison Avenue) is a 532-foot (162 m) high, 42-story building located at 53rd Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan.[1]


The building was built in art deco and neo-gothic style by John H. Carpenter and designed by his brother, architect J.E.R. Carpenter who also designed Lincoln Tower as well as nearly 125 buildings along Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue.[2][3][4]

One of the building's most distinctive features is a broadcasting antenna that traces back to the building's role in the first television broadcasts of Allen B. DuMont experimental television station W2XWV in 1938. The station became commercially licensed as WABD—named for DuMont's initials—in 1944, WNEW-TV in 1958, and is now WNYW. The station was one of the few television channels that continued to broadcast through World War II.

After the war, the network and WABD moved to bigger studios - first at the John Wanamaker's store at Ninth Street and Broadway in Greenwich Village,[5] then the Adelphi Theatre, the Ambassador Theatre, and in 1954 to the Central Turn-Verein Opera House at 205 East 67th, which was renamed The DuMont Tele-Centre and today is the Fox Television Center, home of WABD's descendant, WNYW.

In 1947, the building was the site of a protest by 700 picketers demanding that the United States end diplomatic relations with Spain as a protest against the government of Francisco Franco at the site of the Spanish consulate, located in the building.[6]

In the early 1950s, the WABD antenna was moved to the top of the Empire State Building, in a move which consolidated all New York television stations to one location.

In 1958, WKCR-FM, the radio station of Columbia University, began transmitting from the former WABD antenna atop the building, remaining there until 1977, when it became the first radio (or television) station to transmit from the antenna atop the World Trade Center, the move necessitated by the construction of other surrounding skyscrapers which started interfering with the station's signal.[7]

In 1962, the 250,000-square-foot (23,000 m2) building was sold to Newmark & Co. which still owns and manages it.[8]


  1. ^ a b Du Mont Building, Emporis. Accessed September 27, 2008.
  2. ^ "Books: The New York Apartment Houses of Rosario Candela and James Carpenter by Andrew Alpern with essays by David Netto and Christopher Gray". Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Publishers Lease Floor in Madison Avenue Building", New York Times (October 18, 1931)
  4. ^ http://www.emporis.com/en/cd/cm?id=jecoronelcarpenter-newyorkcity-ny-usa
  5. ^ Bergmann, Ted and Skutch, Ira (2002) The DuMont Television Network: What Happened? 21-22. Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland. ISBN 0-8108-4270-X.
  6. ^ Staff. "ANTI-FRANCO DEMONSTRATION STAGED HERE YESTERDAY", The New York Times, March 3, 1946. Accessed September 27, 2008.
  7. ^ Fraser, C. Gerald. "WKCR Will Be the First Station To Transmit From Trade Center", The New York Times, July 30, 1977. Accessed September 27, 2008.
  8. ^ Staff. "515 Madison Leasehold Sold", The New York Times, July 20, 1962.