6. Black Brickwork Was Used to Make the American Radiator Building Feel Massive

According to The New York Times, Hood disliked the typical office building facade, which was usually punctuated by dark glass windows that looked like black holes. The resulting effect made most structures look like a “waffle stood on end,” he explained.

To counteract this, he purposely opted for black brickwork when designing the American Radiator Building. The material lessened the visual contrast between the walls and the windows, giving the tower “an effect of solidity and massiveness.” Interestingly enough, despite its solid brickwork, the Landmarks Preservation Commission notes that the main shaft of the tower does not have a monolithic quality due to subtle varieties in wall surfaces, Hood’s use of gold accents and the setbacks (or step-like recessions in walls) that are associated with Art Deco architecture.