American Radiator Building

The American Radiator Building (since renamed to the American Standard Building) is a 338 ft (103 m), 23-story[1] landmark skyscraper located at 40 West 40th Street, in midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was conceived by the architects John Howells and Raymond Hood,[2] and built in 1924 for the American Radiator Company, five years before it merged with Standard Sanitary Manufacturing Company to form American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation which 38 years later, became simply known as American Standard.

American Radiator Building
The American Radiator Building
Location40 West 40th Street
Manhattan, New York City
ArchitectRaymond Hood and André Fouilhoux[1]
Architectural styleGothic Art Deco
NRHP reference #80002663
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 7, 1980
Designated NYCLNovember 12, 1974

History and description

The building's structural form is based on Eliel Saarinen's unbuilt competition entry for the Tribune Tower, augmented with a strong use of color.[3][4]

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.

In 1988, successor company American Standard sold the building to a Japanese company.[5] In 1998, the building was sold to Philip Pilevsky for $150 million.[6] Three years afterwards, the American Radiator Building was converted into The Bryant Park Hotel with 130 rooms and a theatre in the basement.

The landmark status of the exterior required the conversion pay special attention to the renovation of the facade decor, and prohibited proposed changes such as bigger guestroom windows. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was also a subject of Georgia O'Keeffe in her noted 1927 painting Radiator Building - Night, New York.

See also


  1. Designation as New York City Landmark, 1974
  2. "AIA Guide to New York City", 4th Edition, pg 229
  3. Henry, Jay C. (1993). Architecture in Texas, 1895–1945. University of Texas Press. pp. 217218. ISBN 0292730721.
  4. Solomonson, Katharine (2003). The Chicago Tribune Tower Competition: Skyscraper Design and Cultural Change in the 1920s (2 ed.). University of Chicago Press. p. 247. ISBN 0226768007.
  5. Gray, Christopher (February 20, 1994). "Streetscapes/The American Radiator Building; A 1924 Precursor of Art Deco". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  6. Dunlap, David W. (August 11, 1999). "Commercial Real Estate; Turning Radiator Building Into a Boutique Hotel". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
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