The Solow Building, located at 9 West 57th Street, is a Manhattan skyscraper designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill's Gordon Bunshaft and built in 1974. It is located just west of Fifth Avenue, sandwiched between the 57th and 58th Street, next to such prominent buildings as the Bergdorf Goodman department store and the Plaza Hotel. Consisting of 50 stories and 689 ft. (210 m), the building's only competitor by height in the neighborhood is the GM Building, located one block north and east. Floors above the 23rd floor offer a virtually unobstructed view of northern Manhattan and a complete view of Central Park.
One of the notable aesthetic attributes of the building is the concave vertical slope of its north and south facades, on 57th and 58th Street. This is similar to another of Bunshaft's creations, the W. R. Grace Building, which is no coincidence, as he had used the initial, rejected façade design for the Solow Building in his design for the Grace Building. The name of the building is attributed to Sheldon Solow, a real estate mogul who invested in the construction of the building.
The building features an underground parking garage, currently available retail space on the north side bordering 58th Street, an underground space occupied by the Brasserie 8½ restaurant, a 2 floor trading floor on floors 2-3, a newsstand in the lobby, and 24 high-speed elevators subdivided into sets of floors.
In Popular Culture:
- The large red sculpture of the digit 9 in front of the building was included in the project as a response to the complaints that the building's sloping reflecting walls revealed unappealing sides of the neighboring historic buildings that were previously obscured. The brightly colored sculpture was to distract the eyes of passersby from noticing these walls. This famous New York sculpture was designed by graphic artist Ivan Chermayeff.
- The restaurant Brasserie 8½ was featured on the show Sex and the City.
- Chandler Bing a character from the sitcom Friends worked in this building during the series.
- Namesake of the Nine West shoe store chain.
- In Superman, a jewel thief is apprehended by Superman while scaling the side of the building while wearing suction cups on his hands and knees.
- Featured in the film Zoolander with a giant computer generated M, which served as Mugatu's fashion headquarters.
- In the film Cloverfield, the monster's hand slides down the facade of the building when knocked down momentarily by a carpet bombing run.
- In the film Lost in America, the final scene where Albert Brooks' character David Howard meets advertising executive Brad ("This little town car...Will drive you away...") occurs in front of this building.