Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sightseeing from Inside the Park: 40th Street Neighbors

Bryant Park is a beautiful place that is enhanced by our impressive park neighbors. In this Sightseeing from Inside the Park series of posts, we play "tour guide" and detail the striking buildings that can be seen from inside the park.

We've already covered the giants that border us on 42nd Street, so now we turn our eyes south toward our smaller neighbors on 40th Street. What these buildings lack in size they make up for in detail and historical interest (and great lunch and dessert options, too).

Bryant Park Hotel (formerly American Radiator Building) 
Hood & Fouilhoux, 1924
40 W. 40th Street

This black brick and gold terra-cotta, Gothic-inspired tower was built for the American Standard-American Radiator Company. Architecture Magazine, in 1925, said this: "the black...suggesting a huge coal pile, and the gold and yellow of its high points the gold of flames of an unbanked fire." In 2001, the building was converted into the boutique Bryant Park Hotel.

The American Radiator Building was meant to resemble the product of its tenant--radiators!

Bryant Park Studios (originally Beaux-Arts Studios)
Charles A. Rich, 1902
80 W. 40th Street

Double-height studios gather north light from across Bryant Park via double-height windows. Artists who worked here included Edward Steichen and Fernand Leger. To learn more, check out Barbara's history post.

Bryant Park Studios is on the southeast corner of 40th Street and Sixth Avenue.

Empire State Building 
Just beyond 40th Street, you might be able to spot another familiar landmark: the Empire State Building! It is not technically on 40th Street, but is certainly visible from the park. The view is remarkable by day or by night. Check here for the full calendar of Tower Lightnings, which explains the meaning behind different lighting schemes atop the ESB!

You can observe the Empire State Building lights from the comfort of a bistro chair.

Information courtesy AIA Guide to New York City.

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