“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.”—Simone de Beauvoir,
1924 - The Radiator Building
The American Radiator Building (since renamed to the American Standard Building) was conceived by the architects John Howells and Raymond Hood and built in 1924 for the American Radiator Company. The skyscraper would be built of black brick and topped it with gold-colored masonry units, the architects combined Gothic and modern styles in the design of the building. Black brick on the frontage of the building (symbolizing coal) was selected to give an idea of solidity and to give the building a solid mass. Other parts of the facade were covered in gold bricks (symbolizing fire), and the entry was decorated with marble and black mirrors. Howells and Hood employed the talents of their frequent collaborator Rene Paul Chambellan for the ornamentation and sculptures. The basic feeling of the skyscraper is Neo-Gothic but the general ornament is abstract and moving towards Art Deco, which would become important in the following years inspiring neighborhood buildings including the Empire State Building.