Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #42

Lever House

Architect: Gordon Bunshaft
Style: Modern
Use: Offices
Opened: 1952
Borough: Manhattan

Declared a New York City Landmark as soon as it was eligible in 1982, this graceful glass curtain building is an exercise in development forbearance in a metropolis mad for real estate. Rather than occupying its full lot and adhering to the consequent setback laws, its innovative T-shape leaves views of its neighbors and angles from which to enjoy its reflective properties. The gardens and public art spaces on its plazas also delight its tenants and visitors alike. While other far less interesting buildings have sought to copy Lever House, its elegant simplicity has never been matched.

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