New York Daily Photo Analytics

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Life at Night

The New York Life Insurance Building has been described as limestone renaissance at the bottom and birthday cake at the top. This 1928, 40-story structure which towers over Madison Square Park at 51 Madison Avenue, was designed by Cass Gilbert, who had a love of pyramidal tops on his buildings - you see this in his Woolworth Building. The design is a fusion of gothic (there are 72 gargoyles at the roof line) with more modern elements. The New York Life was founded in 1845 and is the largest mutual life insurance company in the U.S. The famed gold top was built in 1967 and has been illuminated since 1985 on the company's 140th anniversary. In 1995, on the 150th anniversary, new gold leaf ceramic tiles were installed. The lit top is one of the major nighttime NYC icons which can be seen and easily identified from afar along with the Empire State Building, the Con Ed Tower, the Met Life Tower, the Citicorp Building and a handful of others.
BTW, the site for this building has a fascinating history - Union Depot, Gilmore's Garden, P.T. Barnum's Hippodrome and the original location for Madison Square Garden ...

6 comments:

DwD said...

magnificent picture, again!
just wonder, what kind of camera do u use to capture all these wonderful pics?

Brian said...

DWD,
Thanks. I use a Canon 30D, however, not to sound cliched, but learning to use these cameras is really more the issue. Any decent DSLR with a good lens can deliver good photos. I have spent time with photographers recently and also reading on and offline. There's a lot to know. I feel I am just starting and that in the past I was blindly groping in the dark. It is possible to improve.
Brian

Cynthia said...

Lovely. When I lived in that neighborhood I used to look up and think what a nice photo it would make. Photography is an ongoing learning process, isn't it? There's the shooting and then there's the whole digital darkroom phase which is pretty complex. Here's one rookie who loves every bit of it, though.

Anonymous said...

Great looking building. Thanks for showing this with such beautiful lighting.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful photo! I've just discovered your site. I love your photos!

NewYorker said...

I love that building