About AT&T Building
The Sony Tower, formerly the AT&T Building, is a 647 feet (197 m) tall, 37-story highrise skyscraper located at 550 Madison Avenue between 55th Street and 56th Street in the New York City borough of Manhattan. It was designed by architect Philip Johnson and partner John Burgee, and was constructed in 1984. It became immediately controversial for its ornamental top (sometimes mocked as "Chippendale", after the open pediments characteristic of the famous English designer's bookcases and other cabinetry), but enjoyed for its spectacular arched entranceway, measuring about seven stories in height. With these ornamental additions, the building challenged architectural modernism's demand for stark functionalism and purely efficient design. It is therefore considered by many critics to be a prime example of postmodern architecture. In October 1978, AT&T was granted permission to add 81,928 square feet (7,611.4 m), the equivalent of some four floors of space on its proposed building, in exchange for agreeing to provide open public space and a three-story communications museum.