When the American Radiator Building was finished in 1924, its head-turning gold and black changed the urban character and landscape of the area near Bryant Park in New York City.
Surprisingly, the designer of the glorious American Radiator Building, Raymond Hood, actually started as a radiator cover designer. Hood has been so successful doing so that when the time came for the American Radiator and Standard Sanitary to construct its new headquarters and showroom on 40th Street in close proximity to Fifth Avenue, Hood was the frontrunner guy to design the building. A couple of months prior to his appointment as the designer of American Radiator Building, his design was also chosen for the Chicago Tribune Building.
As with his radiator cover designs, Hood delivered what was expected of him. The American Radiator Building was a truly distinct structure in the area surrounding Bryant Park and in all of New York City. The free standing, 23-level, mid-block structure required the use of black bricks for its exterior which really stood out from the ubiquitous brownstone buildings which dominated the area. According to Hood, he chose to utilize black bricks to minimize the visual difference between the windows and the walls. He also said that it would give the office tower a character of ?solidity and massiveness.? Of course, from the laymen who do not know this, the American Radiator building is simply the perfect fusion of architecture and art.
The American Radiator Building is a neo-Gothic structure boasting of a grand entrance fashioned from marble and bronze. Majority of the building follow the Art Deco aesthetics which became a popular architectural style during the midpoint of the 1920s. Gold-plated terra cotta decorative elements top the building. The tower?s base composed of four stories boasts of black granite and bronze cladding. Symbols sculpted from bronze lies on top of the black granite base.
The interior of the American Radiator Building reflects the black aesthetics of the exterior and is adorned with beautiful black marble and embellished with mirrors. The basement of the building previously housed a cavernous showroom where the most recent furnace and boiler models were exhibited for prospective customers.
In 1974, the American Radiator Building became an officially recognized New York City Landmark. American Standard Company eventually acquired the office tower and was again sold to a Japanese company known as Clio Biz. Then, David Chipperfield, top British architect, converted American Radiator Building into what is now know the popular Bryant Park Hotel and has continued to allured guests and New York City residents with its black and gold allure.
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