Lured to the project by the client's offer of a high salary and the chance
to build a mile-high tower of steel, stone and glass, the,
Columbia University-educated architect Harvey Wiley Corbett left his
position on the Rockefeller Center design team in order to take up this
project in 1928.
While construction of this steel-framed structure proceeded through
the Depression, the crash of 1929 ultimately reduced the
scope of the project. The
current office block was once intended to be the base of a mammoth
skyscraper, but Corbett's longed-for skyscraper was never built.
Clad in Alabama limestone with marble details and richly appointed
marble lobbies, the vertically striated surfaces and streamlined
undulating masses of this Art Deco building give it a slick if somewhat