New York Life Building
New York, NY
Cass Gilbert (completed in 1928)
New York Life Insurance Company
In collaboration with
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
The New York Life Building, situated at the northeast corner of Madison
Square, was originally built as and remains the headquarters of the New
York Life Insurance Company. The building was designed by Cass Gilbert
in 1926 and completed in 1928. The New York Life Building was
completed near the end of Cass Gilbert's career. It is the third and
final neo-Gothic skyscraper that he designed in New York City,
following 90 West Street (1907) and the Woolworth Building (1913). The
commission allowed him to realize his desire of creating a skyscraper
clad in stone, four years before his final design, the Thurgood
Marshall United States Courthouse, also in New York.
The design of the New York Life Building incorporates neo-Gothic
elements such as grotesques and blind tracery with the massing and
scale of Art Deco structures of the period. Rising 36 stories and
crowned with a six-story gilded pyramidal roof, the siting, scale and
style of the building make it a prominent landmark on the New York City
skyline. The exterior of the New York Life Building is clad in Indiana
limestone. This includes both the ashlar units at the piers and the
decorative units at the parapets, spandrels and door surrounds.
Scope of work
- Documented condition of the exterior masonry at representative
areas from the 33rd floor to the sixth floor setback roof.