5. The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

Renovated Waldorf Astoria
The renovated Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel was the world’s tallest hotel when it opened, rising 625 feet into the air. From the exterior, the building is a relatively underwhelming mass of gray brick and stone, but you can see the Art Deco elements upon a closer look. The hotel’s entrance is covered with drapes emblazoned with sculpted women, and its foyer is embellished with mythological imagery.

Though the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel transferred through many buildings, the architects of the current building, Shultze & Weaver, were faced with the imperative to design a building that both appealed to modern sensibilities and maintained the extravagant Victorian beauty of its prior location. Thus, the Waldorf-Astoria came to embody both Greek classicism and Art Deco modernism. Its iconic Art Deco interiors were recently dedicated as a New York City interior landmark, a relief to preservationists while the building underwent partial conversion into condos, and the hotel underwent renovations.

6. Brill Building

The Brill Building (Art Deco)
A. E. Lefcourt’s golden entranceway of The Brill Building.

The Brill Building, located at 1616 Broadway on 49th Street, is relatively small when compared to the others on this list — though it was originally intended to be the world’s tallest building — but its architecture made a big impact on Art Deco architecture. A. E. Lefcourt designed the building’s golden entranceway and modeled the bust in its center after his son, Alan, who died young while the building was under construction. Other Art Deco designs present themselves in the Brill Building’s floral designs atop windows and in the terra-cotta reliefs.

The Brill Building is most well-known for its importance in music history, as the building has served as the headquarters for many popular music industry offices. Many famous musicians also wrote and worked in the building, including Elvis Presley, Carole King, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Liza Minelli, The Ronnettes, and more.