Clarion Partners' 380 Madison Avenue was built in the 1950s out of brick and sheathed in a facade of opaque blue glass during the '80s. The combination of the two styles produced a building that is large, squat, and altogether dismal-looking, but now a complete makeover from L&L Holding Co. will transform the building—almost magically—into a light, modern tower of the type that will probably come to characterize Midtown East in a few years. Using a loophole in the 1961 zoning rules that allows for a Midtown East building to be replaced with another building of the same size only if 25 percent of the original structure is preserved, L&L, with a design from architectural firm KPF, will be able to almost completely redo 380 Madison, which will be renamed 390 Madison Avenue, with no public review whatsoever. Technically, the vast majority of the original tower will remain, but the new version will be virtually unrecognizable with a curtain wall of floor-to-ceiling windows, glass spandrels, and 100,000 square feet from two lower floors removed and reused for eight new floors on top, taking the building from 24 to 32 stories.
· L&L Holdings set to give gloomy 380 Madison Ave. a makeover [NYP]