7. It was the last New York tower erected before laws prevented corporate logos atop buildings

MetLife Building logo

The MetLife Building originally displayed a 15-foot-tall “Pan Am” display and 25-foot-tall globe logos on its façades. However, the building was actually the last tall tower in the city built before laws restricted corporate logos and names from being displayed on top of buildings. Now, logos cannot be more than 25 feet above the curb and cannot occupy 200 or more square feet of the building.

But in 1992, the “Pan Am” display was swapped with neon “MetLife” displays a decade after MetLife moved into the building, and LED letters soon after replaced that display to conserve energy. So why were these changes fine? The sign replacements were permitted since the city government classified the new signs as an “uninterrupted continuation of a use” from before these new laws were passed.