The tin-roof facade of a midtown skyscraper

The Socony-Mobil building, built in 1956 at 42nd Street between Lexington and Third Avenues, was an office tower way ahead of its time.

The world’s first stainless steel skyscraper, this former headquarters of Mobil Oil was sheathed in thousands of panels studded with pyrimid-like designs.

Some early reviewers called the 42-story tower the “waffle building.” Architectural critic Lewis Mumford wrote that the building looked like it had the measles.

But the stamped, tin ceiling–like facade gained enough fans over the next five decades to garner landmark status in 2003. 

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