New York City Guide
The American radiator Building is located at 40 West 40th Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, overlooking Bryant Park. It was later renamed the American Standard Building. In 1998, the building was sold to Philip Pilevsky who converted it into a trendy hotel, which, was opening in 2001 on Saint Valentines day, and renamed The Bryant Park Hotel.
The building was designed with a for story base, with an eighteen story tower above. The base with its distinctive covering of black granite, plus its large show windows, form an impressive effect when viewed from the ground level. The buildings main shaft is a simple design. The tower was designed with "courts" at the side and chamfered corners. This effect gives the American Radiator Building a dramatic and individual presence on the streets of New York.
The building was designed by the architects Raymond Hood and John Howells, and completed in 1924. The ornamentation was created using the talents of the sculptor, Rene Paul Chambellan. The American Radiator building, was Raymond Hood's first major commission in New York, the success of this commission established him as one of the foremost architects in the United States.
The design by Hood and Howells winning came after the design for the Chicago Tribune Building competition in 1922 which was a 36 story version of Rouen Cathedral’s Butter Tower in France. Concerned that Eliel Saarinen’s second place entry was of a superior design, Hood chose to combine both Gothic and modern styles in his finished design. Although designed after the Tribune Building, the Radiator Building was actually completed a year earlier.