During last week's episode of Project Runway, the Fashiontestants were given their challenge in the gorgeous atrium (below) of the Hearst Tower on West 57th Street in Manhattan (above). I thought I'd give you some background on this unique structure.
I have a bit of an attachment to this building, because I can see it from the front door (or the roof) of my apartment building. Furthermore, it was the first skyscraper to break ground after September 11, 2001. I remember watching it go up and feeling like maybe things in NYC were getting back to some sort of normalcy.
The brown stone "base" of the building is actually the original four walls of the first Hearst Building - commissioned by William Randolph Hearst and completed in 1928. The six-story structure was originally designed to be the base of a tower, but the Great Depression came and Hearst scrapped plans for a tall building. The relatively small "Hearst Building" (below) held some - but not all - of Hearst's offices throughout the years.
During the 80's and 90's, Hearst's various publications were spread out all over. At one point I worked across the street from Helen Gurley Brown's Cosmopolitan magazine's offices, and I used to see her being driven in and of the small building one block away from the main Hearst Building. Other Hearst titles had similar small offices in buildings throughout Manhattan.
On May 4, 2006 - nearly 80 years after William Randolph opened the first building, Hearst employees started occupying the new Hearst Tower, and all Hearst companies were consolidated under one roof.
In addition to being personally, historically and architecturally significant, the Hearst Tower was also the first "green" building built in NYC. For more information, go HERE.