Raymond Hood (1881 – 1934)

American architect, Raymond Hood is famous for winning the 1922 Chicago Tribune Building competition. He later designed the NY Daily News Building and was on the team of architects who designed the Rockefeller Center in NYC.

Photo of Raymond Hood

Image source: http://www.artmuseum.cz/umelec.php?art_id=1443

About His Life

Raymond Mathewson Hood was born in 1881 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island (US). He attended Brown University before studying at MIT School of Architecture. Then he arrived in Paris to enter the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, where he met John Mead Howells. In 1911, he graduated in Architecture and in 1922, he won the international competition for the Chicago Tribune Tower, which became one of his major works. It was during his studying in France that he learned Art Déco, which would become his signature architecture style.

Info source: https://www.archdaily.com/784348/spotlight-raymond-hood

McGraw Hill Building, NYC

Around the theme of the skyscraper and the definition of its morphology is concentrated much of the activity of Hood (American Radiator Building, McGraw-Hill Building, Daily News Building, all in New York), characterized by research on eclectic bases that, while without achieving qualitatively exceptional results, it gave an impression of American architecture in the years between 1920 and 1930 and to New York itself. Hood was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. He died at the young age of 53.

Info source: http://www.sapere.it/enciclopedia/Hood%2C+Raymond+M..html

American Radiator Building, NYC

What Were His Major Works?

1. The Tribune Tower in Chicago

In 1922, on the occasion of its 75th anniversary, the newspaper announced an international competition sought “for Chicago, the most beautiful building in the world”. At the closing of the competition, the judges awarded Howells & Hood the prize of $50,000.00 (of which one-fifth was Hood’s share).Hood and Howells’ winning Gothic Revival tower used architectural ideas borrowed from the past. The lower office block is covered in Indiana limestone with vertical pillars and horizontal spandrels characteristic of Art Deco; embedded in its walls are stones of historical monuments and battlefields around the world. The crown of the building resembles a medieval European tower. This design attracted the sense of nostalgia, history and moral purpose of newspaper owners.

Info source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Tribune-Tower

Chicago Tribune Building

2. The Daily News Building in Manhattan

The Daily News Building is a 145-meter skyscraper founded in 1929; until the mid-nineties, it was the headquarters of the newspaper NY Daily News. It was one of the first skyscrapers to have a flat roof without a decorative crown on top and can be considered a forerunner of the Rockefeller Center. The Art Déco style is particularly evident at the main entrance, surmounted by a fat bas-relief that represents employees in a beam of sunlight. The flagship of the Daily News Building hides inside the building: it is the giant globe embedded in the hall. The rotating sphere is at the center of a solemn hall, with a black glass dome ceiling, and it represents the world’s largest in-house globe. This expressed the universal perspective of the famous newspaper which obtained considerable success.

Info source: https://www.ilturista.info/ugc/info/da_visitare/901-Daily_News_Building_visita_al_grattacielo_di_New_York_City/

Daily News Building, NYC

How Can We Identify Hood’s Style?

New York Times describes him as “the 20th-century’s greatest molder of skyscraper form“.  Hood was an architect with a clear and coherent vision of what the skyscraper and the city should be. Large buildings could not be allowed to go everywhere, poised between them as they have become in recent years. Hood was a pragmatic and realistic artist who wanted big towers and wanted smaller buildings. He believed passionately in the virtues of congestion and in the balance between congestion and order.

Info source: https://www.nytimes.com/1984/01/03/arts/raymond-hood-and-his-visions-of-skyscrapers.html

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