The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #46
Raymond Hood (1881 – 1934)
If there is one architectural style the represents and personifies New York more than any other, it is surely Art Deco. And if there is one city that boasts its Art Deco heritage more than any other and wears it on its sleeve, it is New York. While the city has seen many brilliant architects work in this sleek and symmetrical style, one Deco master reigns supreme: Raymond Hood. The principal architect of Rockefeller Center, Hood believed in the practicalities of architecture, with form following function, writing in his notebook “Utility is beauty”. Naturally, the streamlined attributes of the style would appeal to him. While 30 Rockefeller Center will always be the building for which he is best remembered, Hood’s other NYC skyscrapers include the McGraw Hill Building on West 42nd Street, the Daily News Building on East 42nd Street, and especially the stunning black-and-gold American Radiator Building (now the Bryant Park Hotel) on West 40th Street. Hood died in his 50’s during the height of the decade when his signature style was most popular and is buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
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