The Sofia Building

The Sofia Building
  1. About the The Sofia Building in New York
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectureal style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The The Sofia Building is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Jardine, Hill & Murdock and built between 1929 and 1930 in New York, NY.

The Sofia Building is not the only name you might know this building by though. It is common for companies to want to attach their names to iconic buildings when they move in, or for the general public to come up with nicknames, and this one is no exception. The building has changed names several times over the years, and is also known as:

  • Kent Automatic Garage between 1930 and 1943.
  • Sofia Brothers Warehouse between 1943 and 1983.
  • The Sofia from 1983 until this day.

Its precise street address is 43 West 61st Satreet, New York, NY. You can also find it on the map here.

The The Sofia Building is a structure of significant importance both for the city of New York and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Art Deco style. Because of that, the The Sofia Building was officially included in the National Register of Historic Places on September 27th 1984, and was also included in the New York Register of Historic Places on April 12th 1983.

The building has been restored 2 times over the years to ensure its conservation and adaptation to the pass of time. The main restoration works happened in 1943 and 1984.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
Kent Automatic Garage
The Sofia
years ago
  1. 1943 - The garage device that blocked the original entrance for vehicle entry was removed and the building was converted into a storage warehouse. The architect in charge was George S. Kingsley.
  2. 1983 to 1984 - Conversion to apartments. The architect in charge was Alan Lapiduds Associates.

Architect and team

Jardine, Hill & Murdock was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design.

Jardine, Hill & Murdock was in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline, which usually involves many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but here is a list of the people we do know also played their part in making the The Sofia Building a reality:

  • Post McCord in charge of Structural Engineering
  • Kent Automatic Garages as the Main Developer

Architectural Style

The The Sofia Building can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The The Sofia Building was completed in 1930, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

It has a total of 27 floors, served by 3 elevators.

When it opened its doors to the public in 1930, the The Sofia Building was primarily used as Commercial space. That however, is no longer the case, and today it mainly provides Residential space.

About the residences

The The Sofia Building has a total of 94 residential units throughout its 27 floors.

285ft (87m)
243ft (74m)

Materials & Structure

The The Sofia Building uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features some elaborate Art Deco works in polychrome terracotta around the main entrance, formerly used as a car entrance, that rises two stories. The terracotta ornamentation is repeated in the horizontal bands that mark the building's setbacks. The rest of the facade is clad in orange brick with bands of black brick outlining the floors. The central windows are defined by vertical brick pillars.