FIXING UP THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING. In about 1970, I served a subpoena in an office in the Empire State Building. The interior of the building was a disappointment. Ada Louise Huxtable had an article in the Wall Street Journal (November 10) which indicates that the interior had not improved up until a major upgrading in 2009. Before the restoration, there were “small shabby offices more suggestive of shady detective agencies or fly-by-night financial operators”. The restoration by Anthony Malkin’s company cost about $550 million. Huxtable compares the restored interior to that of the Chrysler Building, where I worked for five years. The Chrysler Building has “lush, elaborate, French-inspired, high Deco romanticism.” The Empire State Building is “a more simplified, commercial evocation of the Machine Age, a favorite theme of the time.” The improvements have eliminated dropped ceilings and fluorescent lighting and returned to the original decorative schemes. Aluminum has been used a lot because it was “a fashionable new metal in the 30’s.” Ada Louis Huxtable recommends that we go see the building and I am eager to do so.

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