Iconic building landmarked

The NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission has decided to landmark the exterior and lobby of the Cities Services Building, a 66-story Art Deco skyscraper located at 70 Pine St. The building recently served as the headquarters of American International Group, a financial services company.

The 952-foot high-rise, capped by a stainless steel spire, is deemed to be one of the most prominent buildings on the Manhattan skyline. It is situated on a trapezoidal property bounded by Cedar, Pine and Pearl Streets.

The building’s exterior is made of white brick, light-gray Indiana limestone and speckled rose and black granite. The first-floor lobby has molded plaster ceilings and consists of marble walls, floors and staircases.

Both were designed by Clinton & Russell, Holton & George.

“This building defies words,” according to L.P.C. Chairman Robert Tierney. “Many Art Deco skyscrapers were built in New York City in the late 1920s and 1930s, but few from this era can boast the lavish interiors, intricate metalwork, and visibility of this building.”

The lobby, Tierney said, is “not only a superb example of the Art Deco style, it’s one of the most stunning office building lobbies in New York City.”

The landmarks designation, Commissioner Margery Perlmutter said, is “long overdue. It’s our other Chrysler and Empire State buildings.”

The building, which opened in 1932, was the third tallest structure in the world at the time. It was built by Henry L. Doherty, the founder of the Cities Service Company, an energy holding business that was chartered in 1910 and renamed Citgo in 1965.