Built on the site of a Gothic Revival building which housed the New York Academy of Design, the company's original Main Building was demolished in the 1950s in order to make way for this twelve story structure. Corresponding to the original office block, Napoleon LeBrun & Sons' 1909 office tower is based on the campanile (clock and bell tower) at St. Mark's Church in Venice. Graced with an enourmous clock on each of its four sides, the 700-foot structure was the tallest in the city until the completion of the Woolworth Building. The building's traditional appearance belied state-of-the-art technology systems which included high speed elevators. The tower was stripped of its ornamental details during an aggressive remodeling campaign in the 1960s.


Metropolitan Life Insurance Company South Building
1 Madison Avenue, East wing [1893]; Tower, Napoleon LeBrun & Sons [1909]