Pan Am Building, Park Avenue


The Pan Am Building, today MetLife Building, is a 59-story skyscraper at 200 Park Avenue and 45th Street, north of Grand Central Terminal, in Midtown Manhattan. It was completed in 1963 and is 808 feet (246 m) tall.

The site was originally occupied by a six-story building for baggage handling, part of the Grand Central Terminal complex, later converted into an office building (see photo below).

In February 1958, the office building was announced as the Grand Central Building by the owner's representative James D. Landauer Associates (illustration on the right). The Grand Central Building, Inc. was the owner and builder. The Diesel Construction Company was the general contractor. It was designed by Richard Roth, Walter Gropius and Pietro Belluschi,

It was initially known as Grand Central Building or Grand Central City and construction began in 1959. In September 1960, Pan Am founder Juan Trippe became the major lessee of the building, which became officially known as the Pan Am Building in December 1960. The building was officially opened on March 7, 1963.

The helipad on top of the building was closed in 1977 after an accident that killed five people.

In 1978, Pan Am acquired full ownership of the property. In July 1980, Pan Am sold the building to the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife). The sale was finalized in 1981. The signs were changed in January 1993 and the 200 Park Avenue became known as the MetLife Building. In 2005, the skyscraper was sold to Speyer Properties Tishman. A renovation began in 2018.


Pan Am




Pan Am Building with Grand Central Station, looking north from Park Avenue in the 1960s. Vintage postcard.


Copyright © Geographic Guide - Old images of NYC. Historic Buildings.


Old City of New York


The projected Grand Central Building, as advertised by James D. Landauer Associates, the owner's representative, in a brochure dated February 1958.







Skyscrapers in Midtown Manhattan, with Pan Am Building in the foreground, at Forty-fifth Street. Vintage postcard. Continue below...



Map of Park Avenue NY


Aerial photo NY


Hudson River is in the distance. The New York Central Building, now Helmsley Building, is on the left, and Chrysler Building is behind Pan Am.


Skyscrapers Midtown Manhattan


Grand Central Terminal


Grand Central Building


Park Avenue


Pan Am Skyscraper


New York Central Building


Antique photographs




Pan Am Building, Park Avenue