New York Gothic
September 20, 2011
This image of the American Standard Building (née the American Radiator Building) has been blazing through the internet (i.e. tumblr) of late, and it’s not hard to see why. Erected in 1924, the building, with its extensive application of bronze finishes and granite surfaces, is a perfect distillation of Twenties decadence, looming over Bryant Park in utter denial of rising economic troubles (past or present). More images after the jump!
Designed by Raymond Hood & André Fouilhoux, the American Standard is a sterling model of that curious Manhattan blend of Beaux-Arts historicism, Art Nouveau imagery, Futurist massing (by way of Sant’Elia), and modified Gothic filigree which anticipated their formal synthesis in Art Deco. The 36-story tower stepped back in profile as it rose upwards, giving the building its characteristic pyramidal silhouette and heralding the realization of Hugh Ferriss’ s visionary designs for the “Metropolis of Tomorrow.” The dark color of the brickwork imparts the tower with a massiveness and impenetrability despite its extensive windows, while the abundant number of gold-painted pinnacles and finials enhance the fortress-like appearance. Crouching figures approximate the gargoyles of cathedrals past, and open traceries are elongated to streamline the overall composition.
We’re positive that the World’s Coolest Office resides on the top floor of this New York classic.