JW Marriott Essex House Sign

New York, NY

The red letter sign on top of the JW Marriott Essex House is an iconic part of the skyline of buildings on 59th Street that look out onto Central Park. Vertical Access undertook a hands-on investigation of existing conditions at the Essex House sign.

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Structure description

The JW Marriott Essex House is situated on Central Park South between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. The 43-story building was designed by Frank Grad & Sons as a hotel and opened in 1931 as the Essex House.

The six-story rooftop sign with the building name was installed in 1932. The Essex House sign consists of a series of seven vertical steel trusses with diagonal bracing and horizontal cross members spanning between the trusses. The sheet copper letters are attached to the horizontal cross members.


  • Determine condition of connections between letters and structure.
  • Perform survey of existing conditions to help prioritize repair work.


  • Viewed connections through inspection ports at the rear sides of the letters.
  • Documented general conditions and notable deficiencies using photographs hyperlinked to AutoCAD drawings.

Building owner

  • JW Marriott Essex House

In collaboration with

  • Commercial Roofing Analysts / Commercial Roofing Solution