Jonathan Cohen

Jonathan Cohen

Posted on 06/21/2015

Photo taken on April 28, 2014

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Met Life Tower
NoMad neighborhood
23rd Street
Madison Square Park
New York City
New York
United States
Italian Renaissance revival architecture

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Photo replaced on June 21, 2015
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The Met Life Tower – Viewed from Madison Square Park, Broadway at 23rd Street, New York, New York

The Met Life Tower – Viewed from Madison Square Park, Broadway at 23rd Street, New York, New York
The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, also known as the Metropolitan Life Tower or Met Life Tower, and currently being converted into the New York Edition Hotel, is a landmark skyscraper located on Madison Avenue near the intersection with East 23rd Street, across from Madison Square Park in Manhattan, New York City. Designed by the architectural firm of Napoleon LeBrun & Sons and built by the Hedden Construction Company, the tower is modeled after the Campanile in Venice, Italy. The original tower was sheathed in Tuckahoe marble, but during the 1964 renovation plain limestone was used to cover the tower and the East Wing, replacing the old Renaissance revival details with a streamlined, modern look. Much of the building’s original ornamentation was removed.

The building was constructed in 1909 and served as world headquarters of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company until 2005. It was the world’s tallest building for three years, until 1913, when it was surpassed by the Woolworth Building. There are four clock faces, one on each side of the tower, located from the 25th to 27th floors. Each clock face is 26.5 feet (8 m) in diameter with each number being four feet (1.2 m) tall. The minute hands each weigh half a ton. The clock tower is mentioned in the opening of Murray Leinster’s 1919 story "The Runaway Skyscraper," the clock running backwards indicating that the skyscraper was traveling in time. In the animated TV series Futurama, the tower is seen in the future as wider and its face replaced with a digital clock.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978, and a New York City landmark in 1989.

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