One of the most gorgeous buildings in New York City, (and there are plenty of them), is the American Radiator Building which is now The Bryant Park Hotel. Located at 40 West 40th Street, it was constructed by the architects John Howells and Raymond Hood in 1924, and built for the American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Company.
The building just glows with all the gold decoration. The design is a mix of gothic, modern style and Art Deco (which is one of my faves), which works beautifully. After being vacant for years under Japanese ownership, Phillip Pilevsky purchased the property in 1998 for 15 million us dollars.
The black brickwork on the facade was chosen to lessen the visual contrast between the walls and the windows and thus give the tower an effect of solidity and massiveness. The Gothic-style pinnacles and the terra-cotta friezes on the edges of the setbacks are coated with gold. The base is clad in bronze plating and black granite. There are carved allegories, symbolizing the transformation of matter into energy, quite appropriate for a heater company. The entrance lobby is decorated with black marble and mirrors.*
In 2001, the building had been converted into The Bryant Park Hotel (arch. David Chipperfield) with 130 rooms and a 70-seat movie theater in the basement. The landmark status of the exterior required especially careful renovation of the facade decor as well as prohibited changes such as bigger guestroom windows.
Ice skating in Bryant Park with the hotel in the background is quite a fantastic site
The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was also the subject of Georgia O'Keeffe in 1927 in her noted painting Radiator Building - Night, New York as seen below:
Today's Words of Wisdom: Nothing in Excess
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