Seagram Building New York

This masterful example of the International style has been imitated literally hundreds of times around the city, but never once equaled. One of its best features is the plaza in front. Nobody was quite sure why it worked so well, including the architect himself, but urban planning consultant William H. Whyte put his finger on it.

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It was the steps, he said, they are the best of any office building. ? In 1960, a tax assessor measured the ninety-foot Seagram Plaza and concluded that the city was being cheated out of something like $300, 000 a year in tax revenues because of all that wasted space. The citys lawyers agreed and the tax law was changed to take prestige value into account along with rentable space.


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