Met Life building

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MetLife Building is current name of originally Pan Am Building. It is located in New York City, at 200 Park Avenue. At the time of its opening, it was the largest official building in the world. Now it belongs to the fifty tallest buildings in the USA. In 1987 it was “pronounced” to be the most hated building in New York (the reason is probably that it is not tucked away into the city but left totally exposed and contrasted with the other buildings around it).

The construction of the building was completed in 1963 on March 7. It had originally started just as reconstruction of Grand Central Terminal (the most important rail hub in New York City) in 1954 and finally finished as a building. It was designed by Emery Roth & Sons with the assistance of Walter Gropius and Pietro Belluschi. It is an example of Brutalist, or Independent style Skyscraper. The design is purely commercial with large floors (the total floor area is 2.8 million square feet / 260,000 square metres), simple massing and no luxurious detailing inside. The MetLife Building has 58 floors and it is 246.6 metres (808 feet) tall.

Between 1965 and 1968 and for a few months in 1977 the top of the building was used as a helipad. But this service ended after an accident in which five people died.

The original owner Pan American World Airways had its logo depicted on the north and south facades. When Metropolitan Life Insurance Company purchased the building in 1981 and renamed it into MetLife Building, they also replaced Pan Am logos with their own. Interestingly, the logo supports the nest of peregrine falcons which were introduced to manage the pigeon population. They are nicknamed Loise and Clark. The owner of the building has changed one more time, in 2005 when it was sold to Tishman Speyer Properties.

As one of the prominent New York landmarks, MetLife Building has appeared in many films, for example “Coogan’s Bluff”, “Godzilla” or “Catch Me If You Can” and many more.
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