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 sinister appearance.


Metropolitan Life Insurance North Building
11 Madison Avenue, Corbett & Waid [1932-50 built, in 3 stages]