exterior-view-to-the-southeasthttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/108943-Medium-exterior-view-to-the-southeast.jpghttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/108943-Large-exterior-view-to-the-southeast.jpglookingup-view-of-the-upper-west-facade-from-trinity-placehttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/667608-Medium-lookingup-view-of-the-upper-west-facade-from-trinity-place.jpghttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/667608-Large-lookingup-view-of-the-upper-west-facade-from-trinity-place.jpgTectonic Photofullheightview-view-from-the-northwesthttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/452380-Medium-fullheightview-view-from-the-northwest.jpghttps://www.emporis.com/images/show/452380-Large-fullheightview-view-from-the-northwest.jpgJohn W. Cahill
The tripartite organization echoes the organization of a classical column, revealing the aesthetic influence of Beaux Arts architecture as filtered through the technical inspiration of the Chicago School.
This early skyscraper helped establish the tall office building in New York.
Before this building's construction, the predominant design of skyscrapers on Manhattan featured a detailed front facade with plain and inexpensive side facades (see for example the Park Row Building). This was one of the first with equal treatment on all facades; the architect knew that the prominence of the building would have it seen from all sides. The popularity of this building helped ensure that money would be spent on sides and backs of many skyscrapers since.
From 1920-1922, the building was expanded by four bays along two of the facades greatly altering the proportions of the building. The architect, Herman Lee Meader, matched the original design, but the tower lost much of it's "soaring" character. The vast Equitable Building next door also contributed to diminishing the visual force of the American Surety Building.
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