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Towering at 700 feet with 50 floors, the Metropolitan Life Tower reigned as the tallest structure in New York City and the world from 1909-1913 surpassing the Singer Building. It was then overtaken by the Woolworth Building but still remained as one of the most prominent skyscrapers in New York?s skyline. It served as the main office of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company until 2005.

The Metropolitan Life Tower was actually just an augmentation to the 11-storey office space which was finished in 1893. Each of the four sides of the building has a clock face measuring 8 meters in diameter and spanning the tower?s 25th to 27th floor. The general design of the tower is patterned after the Campaniles of Venice with old Renaissance revival accents and covered by marble. However in 1964, in line with a restoration project, most of the building?s original ornamentation was replaced to give way for a more contemporary look.

In 1999, the Metropolitan Life Tower once again underwent renovation which was finished in 2002 with the addition of a computerized lighting system resembling that of the Empire State Building. The cupola at the tip of the tower is called the ?eternal light? because it is never switched off. The lights also change to reflect significant events and holidays.

Metropolitan Life Tower?s ownership has been transferred a few times, the most recent in 2007. It is projected that the tower will be converted to residential apartments or a luxury hotel.

In 1978, the Metropolitan Life Tower was named a National Historic Landmark and in 1989, it was designated as a New York City landmark.
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