NYC: Daily News Building
Image by wallyg
The Daily News Building, at 220 E 42nd St., was designed by the winners of a 1922 Chicago Tribune competition–Raymond Hood, André Fouilhoux and John Mead Howell–from 1929-1930 as the headquarters for Captain Joseph Patterson’s newspaper, the New York Daily News, which at the time had the largest circulation of any paper in the country. At a time when other developers shunned the area east of the Third Avenue El, the Daily News selected this site so that it could house its noisy printing presses in the same facility as its editorial offices. The building, which was the model for the Daily Planet Building in the first two Superman movies, was vacated by the New York Daily News in 1994 and has since been the News Building. In 2003, SL Green bought the building for 5 million. WPIX-TV remains in the building, although it now partners with Newsday, as both are owned by Tribune.
The 37-storey, 476-foot tall tower is set back above a 10-story base with larger floors to accomodate the press. The Daily News Building is best known for its lobby and entrace. The later is adorned with a 3-story grante slab with a relief image of office workers underneath a sunburst motif illuminating the News Building rising above, characteristic of the decoractive forms of Art Deco design, and a large inscription at the top reading "THE NEWS" and a smaller inscription below reading "HE MADE SO MANY OF THEM." The former features a large globe rotating in a well in the middle of a round, black glass-decorated and domed room with terrazzo paving. Thermometers, wind speed indicators, and world clocks decorate the room. Only when the building was opened, it was found out that the globe rotated in the wrong direction, forcing quick fixing.
The verticality, with the flat, bare facade are early characteristics of the International Style that would gain popularity in New York following World Ar II. Art Deco features of the exterior facade include the vertical stripes of windows, with brown brick in the spandrels between them, and white brickwork forming the separating vertical piers. The window size, and thus the window stripes, was dictated by what could effortlessly be opened by an office worker. The tops of the window stripes are decorated with ornamentated spandrels extending all the way to the top, sloping there inward, splitted by a narrow pier. The "razed" flat top influenced future skyscrapers, including Hood’s own RCA Building.
In 1957-1960, an extension by Harrison & Abramovitz was built: on the 41st Street side a five-storey wing for the newspaper’s printing plant and an 18-storey wing to the east, more than doubling the available space.
The Daily News Building was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1981.
National Register #82001191 (1982)
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