New York Telephone Building
(The Barclay-Vesey Building)
Ralph Walker of Voorhees, Gmelin and Walker
New York City, 1926

In 1916 New York City enacted the "set-back law" which decreed that buildings over a certain height must include proportionate setbacks so that light and air could reach the street below. The "Barclay-Vesey building reflects this law with its wide base and various set back portions leading to a tower. The ornate ornamentation of the Woolworth Building and the Chicago Tribune has been left behind in the NY Telephone. Although it still had a slightly gothic ornamentation, much of the interior decor was full of low-relief stylized designs that would later come to be known as Art Deco, one of the most popular styles of the 1920's and 1930's.