Warren & Wetmore-designed eighteen- story building features an ornate marble and bronze lobby. On September 20, 2011, Landmarks designated the 1925 Madison- Belmont Building at 181 Madison Avenue as an individual City landmark, and the building’s first-floor lobby as an interior landmark. The architecture firm Warren & Wetmore designed the eighteen-story building with Neo-Renaissance and Art Deco elements, including iron and bronze framing on the building’s entrances and first three floors. The lower floor detailing, created by Parisian ironworker Edgar Brandt, has been cited as the first example of Art Deco architectural design in the United States. The Cheney Silk Company was one of the building’s anchor tenants with showrooms on the first three floors.
The building’s intact Empire Revival lobby is more traditional in design than the building’s exterior. The lobby features marble and bronze surfaces with classical motifs, such as a Greek-inspired depiction of the goddess Leda with a silk spinning staff and reel riding a swan, suggestive of the building’s original tenants. The lobby’s metal work and bronze doors were created in Brandt’s Parisian workshop and shipped to the City for installation.
The Commissioners enthusiastically endorsed both proposed designations. Chair Robert B. Tierney praised the building owners for their “amazing stewardship” and led a unanimous vote to approve both designations.
LPC: Madison Belmont Building, 181 Madison Ave., Manhattan (LP-2425; LP-2426) (Sept. 20, 2011).