Designed in 1926 by Cass Gilbert, who also designed the landmark Woolworth Building, the massive building, which was inspired by Salisbury Cathedral, rises forty stories to its pyramidal gilded roof and occupies the full block between 26th and 27th Streets, Madison Avenue and Park Avenue South, a rarity in Manhattan. The building stands 615 feet (187 m) tall and contains 40 floors. It was the last significant Gilbert skyscraper in Manhattan.
The building was completed in 1928 after two years of construction at
the cost of $21 million. It combines streamlined Gothic details and
distinctly Moderne massing. The gold pyramid at the top consists of
25,000 gold-leaf tiles. The building was designated an official New
York City landmark by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission in
2000, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a
National Historic Landmark, designated in 1972. In 1995, after the
pyramid was restored with new tiles and lit, the building received a
Merit Citation Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
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