McGraw Hill Building

Mc Graw Hill Building
  1. About the McGraw Hill Building in New York
    1. Building Catalogations
  2. Architect and team
  3. Architectural style
  4. Spaces and uses
  5. Structure and materials

The McGraw Hill Building is an Art-deco skyscraper designed by Howells & Hood and built between 1930 and 1931 in New York, NY.

Its precise street address is 330 West 42nd Street, New York, NY. You can also find it on the map here.

The McGraw Hill Building is a structure of significant importance both for the city of New York and the United States as a nation. The building embodies the distinctive characteristic features of the time in which it was built and the Art Deco style. Because of that, the McGraw Hill Building was officially included in the National Register of Historic Places on March 28th 1980, and was also included in the New York Register of Historic Places on September 11th 1979.

Building's timeline

Construction begins
1930
94
Construction completed
1931
93
Added to the New York RHP
1979
45
Added to the NRHP
1980
44
years ago
2024

Architect and team

Howells & Hood was the architecture firm in charge of the architectural design. But there was also one other architect involved, as far as we know. We are talking about André Fouilhoux.

Howells & Hood was a prominent American architectural firm founded by John Mead Howells and Raymond Hood. The partnership between these two architects left a lasting legacy in the world of skyscraper design during the early 20th century.

Unlike other firms at the time, which would limit their area of influence to a single city or state, Howells & Hood’s buildings can be found in multiple locations, from New York to Chicago.

They are particularly known for their innovative approach to skyscraper design, and their role in this typology progressing from the neogothic and neoclassical to the more modern art-deco style.

Howells Hood

Howells & Hood and the other architects already mentioned were in charge of the architectural design, however, architecture is a complex discipline involving many professionals from different fields, without whom this building would have not been possible. We will surely be leaving out a lot of names here, but at the very least we know that there was one other part involved, that was Jarres McGraw as the Main Developer.

Architectural Style

The McGraw Hill Building can be categorized as an Art-deco building.

The Art Deco movement flourished during the 1920s and 1930s, with many historians marking the outbreak of World War II as its final decline. Even though a couple of decades might not seem as much, the Art Deco movement had a great impact on architecture, and it's widely represented in many American cities due to the development boom that happened during that time.

Art Deco marked the abandonment of traditional historicism and the embracement of modern living and the age of the machine. In architecture, that meant leaving behind the ornaments of Beux-Arts and Neo-Gothic buildings and instead favoring simplicity and visual impact through geometric shapes, clean lines, and symmetrical designs. Ornaments were still an important part of the design, but they became bold and lavish, and were often inspired by ancient cultures or industrial imagery, instead of nature.

The McGraw Hill Building was completed in 1931, right when the Art Deco movement was at its peak, so it kind of went with the trend at that time.

Spaces & Uses

The McGraw Hill Building reaches an architectural height of 486ft (148m). It has a total of 35 floors, served by 12 elevators, which combined offer a total of 574,792 sqf (53,400m2) of usable space.

Ever since opening its doors to the public in 1931, the McGraw Hill Building has mainly been used as Commercial space.

486ft (148m)

Materials & Structure

The McGraw Hill Building uses a frame structure made of steel columns and concrete slabs.

A frame structure uses a combination of beams and columns to sustain the building's weight. The walls in this case are non-load bearing, which allows for more flexibility when distributing the interior spaces.

The facade is non-load bearing either, as it is common in frame structure type buildings.

From an aesthetic point of view, the facade features blue-green terracotta ceramic tiles covering the facade. This matches the window frames which are made out of green metal.

Another material found at the McGraw Hill Building is gold and silver colored metal, used in bands to decorate the curved walls of the main entrance.

Sources

  • s-media.nyc.gov