4. General Electric’s RCA Building

General Electric RCA Building (Art Deco)
View of General Electric’s RCA Building from the street.

The RCA Building’s most recognizable feature is its extravagant, imposing rooftop, with its blue and white spires shooting up to the sky like icicles or stalactites. The building, which was completed in 1920, was designed by the firm Cross & Cross for the company General Electric. Cross & Cross designed the building to emulate electricity and radio waves, hence the spires shooting off in all directions. Its red brick and marble facade boasts silver lighting bolts and iron clocks bordered by elegant brick fans. The building’s insides are just as grand as its outsides, complete with vaulted ceilings, aluminum plating, aquamarine-colored glass chandeliers, and light pink marble walls.

Located at 570 Lexington Avenue, the building commands a striking presence even when compared to the more modern skyscrapers that have risen up around it. At night, lit up by fluorescents, it almost seems to be a mass of blue fire, rising above the city and proclaiming the all-consuming nature of technology, a phenomenon that continues to define the modern world.