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Flatiron Building in NYC

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Metropolitan Life Tower
Metropolitan Life Tower, Flatiron District, New York Cityµ | | Manhattan, in the early XXth Century -in reason of the new technical improvements and the growing megalomania of powerful companies and trusts- was the theatre of the first fight for height, height meaning supremacy. After the completion of the Flatiron in 1903 and the fabulous Singer Tower five years later, one of the most important insurance company of the country decided to take up the challenge, by adding a 700-foot tower to the existing building, erected in 1893. The latter was first a 11-story one, then 12 in 1895, with several additions in 1901, 1902 and 1905 which added up to a 83,937 square-foot full block coverage ground area. It was a traditional Neo-Renaissance structure whose façade was covered of series of marble-sheathed arcades and rotundas, topped by a flat roof, fringed by a thick balustrade. To design the new tower, destined to be set into the northwest corner, Napoléon LeBrun was required yet, but the idea to copy in a larger scale the Campanile of San Marco in Venice was a John Hegeman's one, the president of the Metropolitan Life himself. And, effectively, the new tower is quite a carbon copy of the famed Venetian monument, but more than twice the height, and with a façade bored of a multitude of windows. The tower is composed of three main parts, as a Doric column, with a three-arched base in harmony with the old building. Above soars the tower itself, organised in three vertical stripes of windows in groups of three, without any ornamentation than four colossal 4-story high concrete clocks (one per side) with inlaid white and blue mosaic, and rusticated quoins at the corners
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