Bronze sculptures The Italian Immigrant and Italia by Giacomo Manzu (Palazzo D'Italia) and bas-relief Youth Leading Industry by Attilia Piccirilli adorn the wing entrances on the Fifth Avenue side.
In order to attract foreign investors and traders to the Center, Rockefeller conceived the idea of providing European nations with their "own" buildings there. All in all, the four outwardly similar low buildings facing Fifth Avenue were designated for that use. The British Empire Building and Palais de France (or Le Maison Francaise), flanking the "Channel Gardens", were the first ones. After Italy and Germany also showed interest, the protruding lower wings of the International Building were also planned for similar use as Palazzo D'Italia (626 Fifth Ave.) and Deutsches Haus (636 Fifth Ave.), respectively. However, due to the breaking out of war in Europe the German constituent was cancelled and named International Building North instead.
The exterior of the building follows the uniform vertically striped, limestone-clad appearance of the rest of the original Center buildings.
Recessed between these wings stands Lee Lawrie's sculpture Atlas (1937), whose heroic appearance would have surely suited the planned fascist government tenants' official artistic style.
This 156 m tall building is basically a scaled-down version of the GE Building, with 41 storeys and similar multiple setbacks as its neighbour.
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