Madison Avenue, Manhattan, New York
Points of Interest
On the 30th floor is the reception area where visitors are greeted by the Fantastic Four's receptionist Roberta, a usuform robot. The 31st floor contains the Fantastic Four’s living quarters. The 33rd floor contains Reed’s laboratory. The floor plan is constantly changing as Reed adds additional experiments and devices. The 35th floor contains the hangar for the Fantastic Four’s various vehicles, storage space, and a machine shop capable of building or repairing vehicles.
Windows are 2-foot thick composites of various glasses and plastics which are mirrored on the outside. Solid, armored, exterior walls are also mirror-clad and are indistinguishable from transparent sections. The top five sections of the Baxter Building are completely airtight, all doors are airlocks. Complete environmental support, including atmosphere is provided by the area between elevators 2, 3, and 4 on all floors. The building's steel-alloy framework is rigid enough to be stood on one corner and not deform.
Fantastic Four #3
The Baxter Building was the Fantastic Four’s original headquarters. It was a 35-story building located at 42nd Street and Madison Avenue in Manhattan. While the popular belief is that the Baxter Building was built and entirely occupied by the Fantastic Four, in fact they were originally only tenants who rented the top five floors. The building was originally constructed in 1949 by the Leland Baxter Paper Company. The building's steel frame construction utilized the first application of "K bracing" in the world and is one of the strongest structures of its kind. Originally designed to accommodate pulp recycling machinery to serve the mid-Manhattan area, each floor was given a ceiling height of 24 feet.
When the Fantastic Four were first considering moving to New York City, Reed found the Baxter Building’s empty top five floors perfect for their needs. He bought that section of the building outright, though the Fantastic Four continued to pay monthly service fees. When the they were in a tight financial situation a year later, Reed sold the Fantastic Four’s floors back to the Baxter Paper Company. As tenants, the Fantastic Four had many problems with Mr. Collins, the building manager. Whereas Mr. Collins had originally been delighted that a real superhero team was moving into his building, he soon began to see the problems in such a situation. When Doctor Doom lifted the entire building into deep space, relations cooled between the manager and his tenants. Other tenants worried that their offices might become battlegrounds and, as their leases ended, many of the building’s original tenants did not renew. Nor did new tenants appear to fill the vacancies. In desperation Mr. Collins offered all tenants ironclad, 99-year leases with significant discounts in their rents.
Still, problems continued. Occasionally either the Thing or a foe would be driven downward through the building, tearing a shaft through floor after floor. Battles occurred on the outer walls of the building. Explosions were a common occurrence. No insurance company would write a policy on any organization maintaining offices in the Baxter Building.
Collins also discovered that losing the Fantastic Four as tenants would not solve his problems. During a period when the Fantastic Four had split up and vacated their headquarters, Collins discovered that no one would rent the their former headquarters. There was too great a fear that supervillains would attack those floors regardless of who now lived there.
Then one day Terrax disintegrated everything above the 32nd floor. Collins was fed up. He stormed into the remains of the headquarters and announced he was evicting the Fantastic Four. Reed suddenly exercised a lease option and bought the entire building outright. That was the last that was seen of Collins. As landlords, the Fantastic Four tried to be considerate of their tenants. They wished most of the tenants would voluntarily leave, but they realized they were required to honor Collins’ special leases. The final act in the Baxter Building’s history came when the entire building was once again pulled into orbit, only this time it was blown up.
Fortunately, no one was in the building except for the Fantastic Four. Still, when the Fantastic Four returned to the empty foundation, they found angry tenants demanding action. Reed announced that he would establish an insurance pool to cover the tenants’ losses and to help them find new offices. Then he set about designing a new headquarters to be erected on the same site.