The Gothic-style Starbucks on Lexington Avenue

If you love tall city buildings with Gothic-style architectural touches, then feast your eyes on 511 Lexington Avenue.

This circa-1929 structure features a feast of cathedral-like Medieval dragons, griffins, and grotesques that appear to be ready to launch themselves off the facade and into Midtown.

Four human figures each representing a season are also on the facade, from spring to summer to winter to fall.

Head inside, and overhead you’ll see rows of gilded allegorical characters representing the human experience: one holds a palate, another reads by candlelight, another might be holding a sickle.

Sumptuous displays of Gothic ornamentation can be found all over New York. But this is the first time I’ve seen anything like it at a Starbucks, which (discreetly) occupies the ground floor of this building, the Lexington Hotel.

The 27-story Lexington (check out these cheapo 1930s room prices) was previously known for its mid-century Hawaiian Room and illustrious residents Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe lived here during their marriage in the 1950s.

Now it’s reputation could hinge on having the one Starbucks in New York that features carvings at its entrance that make you think you’re about to order your cold brew in a Normanesque church in Europe.

It’s certainly a lot different from another unusual Starbucks in Greenpoint…housed in a 1920s ex-neighborhood movie theater, complete with awning!

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2 Responses to “The Gothic-style Starbucks on Lexington Avenue”

  1. Penelope Bianchi Says:

    Can you imagine the pleasure the artists derived from designing and creating these fabulous creatures on this building? They knew these would live on way past them. And how lovely to see them today!
    When I lived in NYC in 1969-1970 I was constantly looking up to see things just like this! I think this one was not far from my building! 57th between Lexington and 3rd! 153 East 57th. Upstairs from Hammacher Shlemmer…..a studio with one huge window. Looking at a wall of a high rise.. Yikes! I walked around a lot and saw great beauty and great ornament~ Like this! Thank you!

  2. David H Lippman Says:

    It’s the Starbucks for Goths, of course….

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