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The unveiling of the design for the new headquarters for AT&T, then the largest company in the world, appeared on the front page of The New York Times on March 31, 1978 and was quickly dubbed “the first Postmodern skyscraper." The tower's architect was Philip Johnson, who had championed the minimalist and functionalist aesthetics of the European avant garde as a curator at MoMA in the 1930s and had collaborated with Mies van der Rohe on the Seagram Building in the 1950s. With its granite-not-glass façade and split-pediment “Chippendale” roofline, Johnson’s AT&T overturned – or at least undermined for a decade – the aesthetics of Modernism he had helped establish as orthodoxy.

Join us on September 26th at 6pm for the first of two webinars to examine the original design and the recent renovation and 21st-century reinvention of the now-landmarked AT&T/Sony Building, now known simply by its address, 550 Madison. The first program will feature ALAN RITCHIE, who was the Johnson Burgee project manager for AT&T and later Johnson's partner, and SCOTT JOHNSON (no relation), now of the California-based firm Johnson Fain, who as a young architect in the office, worked on the tower's team. They will discuss the original design and construction of the AT&T headquarters in both theory and practice.

This program is presented in connection with the Museum's current exhibition SKY MARKS | LANDMARKS. The AT&T/Sony Building, now renamed by new owners for its address, 550 Madison, was designated a NYC Individual Landmark in 2018.

To register for these FREE programs, click on the link attached. You will be redirected to Eventbrite where you'll receive the Zoom link upon registering. The webinars are limited to 100 attendees, but will be livestreamed to our YouTube channel.

The AT&T Building: Philip Johnson and The Postmodern Skyscraper
Image: Courtesy of The Olayan Group

General Info

Event Type(s) Other Events
Admission / Cost FREE
Tickets/Booking/RSVP: skyscraper.org/...


The Skyscraper Museum

About Founded in 1996, The Skyscraper Museum is a private, not-for-profit, educational corporation devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. Located in New York City, the world's first and foremost vertical metropolis, the museum celebrates the city's rich architectural heritage and examines the historical forces and individuals that have shaped its successive skylines. Through exhibitions, programs, and publications, the museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence.
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