Meet 545 Madison Avenue’s ‘Leonard Lounge’ for Tenants

A Space Age fireplace inspired the design

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As part of its efforts to turn a glassy Plaza District office tower at 545 Madison Avenue into a warm, midcentury-inspired workspace, Marx Realty has converted a vacant eighth-floor office into a lounge, bar and conference room.

The 7,000-square-foot space is called the “Leonard Lounge,” after developer Leonard Marx, who founded Marx Realty in the 1920s and died in 2002. It hosts a cafe, a bar, a terrace and a boardroom, which can be opened up to the rest of the lounge via a retractable velvet wall. Craig Deitelzweig, the CEO of Marx, said that a steel fireplace suspended from the ceiling ended up being the inspiration for the space. 

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“The fireplace looked groovy suspended from the ceiling,” said Deitelzweig. “Even the couches have these sexy curves to them. There’s a very unique color blue, as well as some plum features. There will be hanging plants in the bar and after-work area.” 

The Space Age fireplace — which is circular and painted black — serves as the centerpiece for the lounge, which has rounded maroon couches and a tall custom wooden sideboard with a fluted wood base. The upper portion of the sideboard features a set of brass shelves that nearly touch the ceiling, backed by tropical wallpaper behind the shelves. Structural columns have been covered in warm wood paneling and hung with narrow LED strip lights. There’s also a long, green marble bar with seats that look out onto the street through floor-to-ceiling windows. Tenants will get complimentary bourbon, tequila and wine after work. Rounding out the cafe area is a pantry with appliances and seltzer, where tenants can host events and serve food. 

The boardroom includes a long table topped with black marble, green velvet swivel chairs, wood-paneled walls and a unique suspended light fixture with loops of LED tubing wrapped around a long brass rod. 

Construction began on the Studios Architecture-designed space in September and wrapped two weeks ago. 

Marx also renovated the lobby of 545 Madison at the height of the pandemic, adding fluted wood paneling, a green marble reception desk, a teal couch and shelves full of books. Asking rents in the building range from $84 to $130 per square foot.

Rebecca Baird-Remba can be reached at rbairdremba@commercialobserver.com