Posts Tagged ‘animal figures on New York City buildings’

The rats of the Graybar Building

November 23, 2009

New York City buildings are decorated with images of horses, goats, elephants, birds, even squirrels. But only on the Graybar Building, an office tower next to Grand Central Terminal, will you find rats.

Yep, three cast-metal rats are depicted climbing above the building’s entrance at 420 Lexington Avenue.

So why rats? It’s not clear, but the architects who built the tower in the 1920s seem to be depicting the cone-shaped objects attached to mooring lines of ships that deterred rats from getting on board.

Or maybe it’s some kind of commentary on the rat race of professionals who ply their trades in office buildings like the Graybar every day.