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Sony Building

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550 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022 40.761031 -73.973291
at 56th St.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
212-833-8000 Send to Phone
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Photo by Christina Hribar

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Hours

Daily, 7am-11pm

Nearby Subway Stops

E, M at Fifth Ave.-53rd St.; F at 57th St.; N, Q, R at Fifth Ave.-59th St.; 4, 5, 6 at 59th St.

Parking

  • Nearby Parking Lots
  • Street Parking

Profile

Thanks to decades of technological and architectural developments, the Sony Building features something old, something new, something borrowed and something postmodern, too. Old: Purchased from AT&T in 1992, the Sony Music Corporation moved its U.S. headquarters into this sprawling Midtown complex only eight years after AT&T commissioned the building’s construction for its own headquarters. New: In 1994, Sony built the Sony Wonder Technology Lab on the first four floors of the building–it’s a spectacular, interactive museum that explores the technological innovations made by Sony over the past decades. Borrowed: When the AT&T folks moved their headquarters here, they brought Evelyn B. Longman’s “Spirit of Communications” with them, a gilded statue which had graced the top of their previous headquarters. When they vacated the Sony Building, they took the statue and placed it in the lobby of their new building in New Jersey, a move that caused much controversy in the architectural world. Postmodern: After the architect Philip Johnson, famous for his “Glass House,” designed this 37-story tower, the building’s trademark Chippendale-style roof pediment became an international symbol of postmodern-style architecture.

See It

The Sony Wonder Technology Lab, an interactive museum, features four floors of games, exhibits and extremely helpful Sony personnel. When visitors first arrive, they must obtain a free ticket; the time on the ticket will correspond to the time at which they are allowed to enter the Lab. Upon entering, the technicians give out swipe-cards which allow visitors to edit their own music video, build a video game, star in their own rock concert, create a movie preview, or catch a short movie in the 73-seat High Definition Theater. Each visitor receives Certificate of Completion as a souvenir. To avoid the crowds, (especially during the summer), go later in the day.

Sony Store
This two-level flagship sells the latest technological innovations from Sony, including CDs, DVDs and portable stereos. Split between two separate sections of the building, the Sony Store in the plaza’s southeast corner houses a Starbucks and lets visitors test-drive a PlayStation system. The other side sells high-end products, including computers and digital cameras. The store’s lower level has high definition TVs set up for viewing (and purchasing).

Atrium
Meet friends, take a break from sightseeing, or sip a latte at a café table in the glass-roofed atrium on the first floor of the Sony Building.

Tours
The Technology Lab offers free, guided school visit tours between October and June for students in grades three through twelve. Tours last approximately two hours and must be booked three months in advance. For more information, or to make a reservation, call 212-833-5414 or visit the Lab website.

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