****Here are my notes about MetLife Building.****
The MetLife building was build in 1963 by three architects; Walter Gropius, Emery Roth and Pietro Belluschi. This large scale modern building is located in the core of Midtown between Grand Central Terminal and East 45th street .This zone is the largest central business district in the world. The developers name is Erwin S. Wolfson-this is the guy who got $25 million for this project from a British property developer Jack Cotton. From 1963 -1981 It was known as the PanAm World airways building, then in 1993 the building changed its sign because the PanAm airline sold it to the Metropolitan Life Insurance company for $400 million which then was sold to Tishman Speyer (real Estate company).Until this day The logo on the building remains to be Metlife because there is not enough room to spell Tishman Speyer .
In terms of architecture, it is a 59 story skyscraper (height 808 ft) and the plan was to build a large international style building with an elongated octagonal shape which meant to represent the wing of an airplane. This geometric and blocky structure known as brutalist has a roof that was used as a helipad which later (1977) closed its service because it was not profitable and because a tragedy took place when a helicopter crashed on the roof of the PanAm building killing 5 people. In terms of size it became the world’s largest office building by square footage (2.4-million sq ft), but then few years later it lost its title when 55 Water Street was build downtown which was a 3.5 million sq ft structure. It is a very big and a well planned building with the floor size that is significantly greater than in the Chrysler building. Still some people are not happy with this building and don’t think that it fits well into its surroundings and would love to see it demolished because it blocks the view and dominates and overshadows Warren & Wetmore’s Central Building.
While some wish it was taken down, others think that it’s very practical and spacious and that it does a great job serving its purpose .It includes a lot of rental space, it has restaurants, gym, retail stores and child care and it has a great view. Some think that its structure is striking and that its direct access to Grand Central Terminal and to Times Square is convenient. In terms of transit it’s very comfortable for workers who can skip the stress of traffic- there is a big zone to park your car in and it hold up to 250 cars. Also since its right by the Grand Central Terminal, there are constantly crowds of tourists and residents that are in this zone which means that people visit and shop a lot which brings profit –once again showing the relationship between private good and public good.