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. Raymond Hood, rose to prominence in 1922 when he won the international competition for The Chicago Tribune's new office tower. After the competition, the young architect received numerous offers, including one from American Radiator for an office building facing Bryant Park.
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.
In 1998 the building was sold, later the American Radiator Building was converted to The Bryant Park Hotel with 128 guest rooms. The conversion also included building a film studio screening room in the sub-basement, a cocktail lounge in the lower lobby space and a restaurant in the lobby. The exterior of the building is a National Historic Landmark building so none of the exterior features of the building could be changed when converted to a hotel. Only the interior space was changed during the conversion.
The American Standard Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and The Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the building a landmark in 1974. The 26 story tower still stands out for its colors – black brick trimmed in gold – and unconventional shape.