Niagara Mohawk Building ~ Syracuse NY ~ Art Deco Facade
Art Deco was the hot architectural style in America during the 1920s and 1930s. The style is characterized by features like smooth wall surfaces (often shiny metal), with zigzags, chevrons, and other geometric motifs as decorative elements on the façade. The geometric motifs usually emphasize verticality, which is often enhanced by adding towers and vertical projections. Even figure sculptures display an angular geometric approach. One of the best examples of Art Deco style in New York State, and arguably in America, is the Niagara Mohawk Building in Syracuse. This dramatic seven-story structure, which is the headquarters of the Niagara Mohawk Power Company at 300 Erie Boulevard West, was built in 1932. It was designed by the Buffalo architectural firm of Bley & Lyman and the Syracuse architect Melvin L. King. The façade is constructed of gray brick and stone in a series of setbacks, with additional cladding in stainless steel, aluminum, and black glass. The ornamentation is truly opulent. There are parallel bands, zigzags, and chevrons. At the base of the tower six stories above the entrance, there is a 28-foot-high statue of a male figure with outstretched arms from which rays of light emanate like giant wings. The stunning sculpture is called, “Spirit of Light.” Niagara Mohawk gleams, shimmering in daylight and glittering at night with interior lighting and powerful exterior flood illumination.
300 Erie Boulevard West,Syracuse, New York
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Niagara Hudson Building in 2010.
The building was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in June, 2010. The listing was announced as the featured listing in the National Park Service’s weekly list of June 25, 2010.
The building was built in 1932. It was headquarters for what was “then the nation’s largest electric utility company”.
It was nominated by New York State’s Board of Historic Preservation for listing on the National Register of Historic Places in December, 2009. The Board described the building as “‘an outstanding example of Art Deco architecture and a symbol of the Age of Electricity.