Located on the corner of 23rd Street and Madison Avenue in the Flatiron District, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building was quite an impressive site. Completed in 1893 and designed by Napoleon LeBrun & Sons, the 11-story, full-block building was one of the largest on Madison Square. But that wasn't enough for the booming company. In 1909, the church next door was demolished and a large 50-floor tower was constructed, making it the tallest building in the world from 1909 to 1913.
Both buildings still exist today, however a 1964 exterior renovation vastly changed their appearances, covering the ornate facades with plain limestone instead, a brutalist look that was favorable at the time. Here is a Google StreetView of how these buildings look today.
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