Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Iconic Met Life Tower to the Elegant New York Edition Hotel

The gilded cupola atop the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower has served as an icon of Madison Square Park since it was built in 1909. Modeled after the Campanile in Venice, the Napoleon LeBrun-designed building was the world’s tallest for two whole years, until it was surpassed in 1913 by the Woolworth building. When the company vacated in 2005, the historic building spent a few years with an uncertain future, until it was snatched up by the Marriott and Ian Schrager’s boutique venture, slated to become the New York Edition Hotel.


The hotel has preserved the architectural nuances of the original building, as well as some modern additions that would please any art or architectural nerd. The famed clocktower continues the to be the  inspirational force of the building. The four clock faces remain, each spanning 26.5 feet in diameter, each having four foot numbers and a  minute hand weighing a half ton. Now, the tower has inspired the hotel’s Jason Atherton-run restaurant, aptly named The Clocktower.

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Inside the sumptuous restaurant space are three cozy dining rooms, a billiards room and well-lit bar befitting of the Gilded Age glamor of the original building. Each room also calls upon the glamor of New York over the past century, with a collection of photographs packed salon-style, covering every inch of the walls in The Clocktower that evokes an art gallery. Familiar scenes from other New York icons like Max’s Kansas City, Studio 54 and the Mudd Clubb join portraits of It girls and screen sirens of the past galavanting all over the city.

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To complete the magic of the new space, the beautiful bar and restaurant is reached by one of the most elegant staircases in New York City.


What: New York Edition Hotel at the historic Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower

Where: 5 Madison Avenue

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