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The Historic MetLife Skybridge Near Madison Square Park Is Being Torn Down

The Art Deco masterpiece dates back to the 1950s :(

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

The Historic MetLife Skybridge Near Madison Square Park Is Being Torn Down

NYC is full of beautiful pieces of unique architecture, and sadly one of those elements has been demolished in the Flatiron District.

The MetLife Insurance Company Building at 1 Madison Avenue had a fabulous Art Deco-era skybridge that connect it to their sister building at 11 Madison Avenue, and it is officially being demolished to make way for a 1.4 million square-foot office tower.

First reported by Untapped New York, the demolition has been taking place since the end of October. The bridge was made of stainless steel and glass windows with a unique geometric window pane. It could be seen from Madison Square Park right across the street.

The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company dates back to 1865 and began acquiring land around the Park in the 1890s, purchasing many townhouses that it eventually turned into its headquarters. There is a long history of the company utilizing buildings in the area, from buying and selling to constructing the famous clock tower in 1909 that briefly held the title of the “world’s tallest building.”

Developer SL Green purchased both buildings from MetLife in 2015 and has just begun construction on the new office tower that will rise above the already constructed building at 1 Madison Ave. They say it will be 26 stories and will be a “glittering jewel box of elegance, efficiency and infrastructure, incorporating two spectacular full garden floors, a glittering new lobby and street entrance, state-of-the-art systems and amenities throughout.” You can read more about it on their website here.

Apparently, in a statement to Untapped New York, the firm said that zoning laws required the new building be “set back from 24th St.” and therefore the skybridge could not be part of it. The plans were presented and approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Community Board and preservationists last year.

Those buildings are sadly not landmarked, so the skybridge was not protected that way either — though, the clock tower at 5 Madison Ave. is.

It appears that it has almost completely disappeared, with only the arch remaining.

featured image source: Instagram / @silviamarques_nyc

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