One Worldwide Plaza is part of a three-building, mixed-use commercial and residential complex completed in 1989, in the New York City borough of Manhattan, known collectively as Worldwide Plaza. One Worldwide Plaza is a commercial office tower on Eighth Avenue. Two Worldwide Plaza is a residential condominium tower west of the center of the block, and Three Worldwide Plaza is a low-rise condominium residential building with street level stores on Ninth Avenue, to the west of the towers.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was the designer for the office complex and the residential complex was designed by Frank Williams. The complex occupies an entire city block, bounded by Eighth Avenue, Ninth Avenue, 49th Street, and 50th Street. Located on the west side of Eighth Avenue, One Worldwide Plaza is built on the site of New York City's third Madison Square Garden. The 50th Street subway station is underneath.
Designed by David Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Worldwide Plaza complex was developed by William Zeckendorf, Jr. The building of One Worldwide Plaza was documented in a Channel 4 / PBS mini-series and a companion book Skyscraper: The Making of a Building by Karl Sabbagh.
One Worldwide Plaza is a 50-story, 1.5 million square feet (139,355 m²), 778-foot (237 m) office skyscraper. The building has three separate entrances to accommodate the various tenants in the building, which include the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore and, formerly, the international advertising agency of Ogilvy & Mather. The base of the building is made of granite and precast concrete. The tower facade is made of brick. The building is crowned by a copper roof and glass pyramid known as "David's Diamond" after the architect, David Childs.
A mid-block public plaza separates One Worldwide Plaza from the residential buildings of Two Worldwide Plaza and Three Worldwide Plaza. The public plaza is a bonus space granted under New York City Department of City Planning. The creation and maintenance of the public plaza resulted in permission to build additional floors in the office tower. The landscaping of the plaza contains over 40 trees and numerous plantings, and a cafe. Public seating is available year round. The center of the plaza is highlighted by a fountain created by Sidney Simon called "The Four Seasons". Four female statues, each modelled by Molly Ackerman and representing a season, hold up a globe.
A theater space beneath the public plaza, was originally a six-screen movie theater but is now occupied by five off-Broadway theaters known as New World Stages. Access is gained by two kiosk buildings: one on 49th Street and the other on 50th Street.In July 2009, Deutsche Bank agreed to sell Worldwide Plaza for just $600 million after a previous sale of $1.74bn in February 2007, a 66% drop in value in just 2 years. Developer George Comfort & Sons was the buyer, and the Purchase was the biggest after the NYC downturn, which followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Harry B. Macklowe lost the building to Deutsche in 2008.