The American Standard Radiator Building was designed in 1924 for the heating and plumbing manufacturer of the same name. Architect Raymond Hood made this small building feel larger by using darker brick to reduce the contrast between the windows and solid walls.
Hood can’t be credited with designing the building on his own. He based the structural form on Eliel Saarinen’s (losing) competition entry for the Tribune Tower in Chicago in 1922. Ironically Hood won the design competition for the Tribune Tower. Hood’s most notable works include: the Tribune Tower (Chicago), New York Daily News Building (NYC), Rockefeller Center (NYC), McGraw-Hill Building (NYC).
American Standard Radiator Building photo via Flickr by chrisjohnbeckett
Peter Keating, one of the main characters in Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead was based on Hood’s career and works. While Rand’s character, Howard Roark, was based on Frank Lloyd Wright. She played out some of their actual career battles in the novel, most notably, heading the committee for a World’s Fair. Although The Fountainhead illustrated Rand’s predilection for Wright, she did go on record complimenting theRCA Building and McGraw-Hill Building.
In 1998 it was purchased for 150 million dollars and turned into the Bryant Park Hotel.