MID156-1.jpg (42174 bytes) New York Architecture Images- Midtown

Bertelsmann Building


Audrey Matlock (while at SOM Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP)


1540 Broadway (Times Square) 






Owner: Bertelsmann Property, Inc.
Developer: Eichner Properties
Height: 206 m, 676 ft
Floors (above ground): 42


Office Building



Image- with special thanks to Rick Stasel



Audrey Matlock was the architect. She worked for Eisenman for several years and then shocked her peers by taking a Sr. Designer position at SOM.

There is a spectacular book about the making of this building titled:
High Rise
How 1,000 Men and Women Worked Around the Clock for Five Years and Lost $200 Million Building a Skyscraper

It was written by Jerry Adler, a Sr. Editor from Newsweek Magazine, and published by Harper Collins: ISBN 0-06-016701-7

It had been out of print for years, BUT has just been re-issued in paperback.
Grab them while their hot off the presses:
BUY: High Rise at Amazon

Speaking of David Childs, the book tells how:

He made a point that a drafting table was never to be placed in his office because he never drew (these were pre-computer drafting days). His office consisted of a lounge of sofas and a coffee table because his primary responsibility was schmoozing clients, and he never really designed anything anyway.

Speaking of the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill firm, the book states:

" emerged as a product of the office, not any individual within it. Doing business this way also had some practical advantages for the partners...", and details how good young architects could come and go from the firm, but the firm would always retain the credit for the design because it was the official policy of the firm to give credit to no one.

Towards the end of the book, is this telling passage:

"Audrey Matlock no longer worked at Skidmore. Her office was downtown in the West Twenties, but she couldn't resist another look at the building, which was the biggest she had ever designed and the one she felt most attached to, even though the world knew it as David Childs building."

She left SOM when they passed her up for a promotion to partner. She now has her own New York firm: anARC

Here is a link to an interesting cover story about the developer, Bruce Eichner, from the Miami Herald, December 27, 1999: