Created by architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee, this postmodern office space, better known as “The Lipstick Building,” was completed in 1986. The structure earned its nickname due to its unusual shape. Nestled among blocks of standard rectangular Midtown office buildings, its oval contour stands in three layers stacked like an opened lipstick tube. The red granite and stainless steel exterior is a true departure from traditional New York architecture and enhances its resemblance to a cosmetic. Look beyond this metaphor to appreciate the first two of the building’s 34 stories, which contain an enclosed glass lobby flanked by a colonnade of red granite pillars and a pedestrian plaza.
The clearest angle to catch “The Lipstick Building”—especially for a photograph—is walking northward on the west side of Third Ave. It’s the best way to see the atypical elliptical lines and to catch the vibrant imperial red granite up against the horizontal bands of stainless steel.