An aerial view of the Seagram Building in 1958. Image via flickr
When most people think of the New York City skyline, they probably think of skyscrapers like the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the new One World Trade Center first. However, there is one vital New York City skyscraper that they perhaps overlook: The Seagram Building.
Located at 375 Park Avenue, this sleek black structure, which is 38-stories and 515-feet tall, was created in 1958 for the Canadian alcoholic beverage distilling company, Joseph E. Seagram & Sons. While its height may pale in comparison to the other giants of the New York City skyline, it set crucial standards for the architecture of American corporate offices surrounding us everyday.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the architect behind the Seagram Building
German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was the Seagram Building’s architect and came up with idea for its innovative design. Mies was also a director of Berlin’s Bauhaus school, the site of the beginnings of modernist architecture. Surprisingly, Mies himself never actually attended design school and opted for a trade school instead, where he learned sketching and gained more hands on experience instead.
When the Nazis closed the Bauhaus in 1922, Mies and his groundbreaking, minimalist architectural concepts moved to the United States in the late 1930s at age 19.