Robert Linhart is charged with graffiti and criminal possession of an ice pick recovered from his car. He's also charged with resisting arrest outside the building near Central Park.
The grizzled 59-year-old was arraigned Wednesday in Manhattan Criminal Court. A judge set his bail at $20,000 cash.
Defense lawyer Cheryl Bader tells the Daily News there was "no threatening conduct" and it's "not a crime to adore Madonna," the singer of pop hits including "Like a Virgin" and "Material Girl."
Police say Linhart was arrested Tuesday while spray-painting messages to the singer and asking to meet her.
The fire department says Linhart retired in 1998.