The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, also known as the Met Life Tower, is a landmark skyscraper located at One Madison Avenue in Manhattan. The tower was designed by the architecture firm of Napoleon LeBrun & Sons and was inspired by the Campanile in Venice, Italy. Built in 1909, it was the tallest building in the world for three years, until 1913, when it was surpassed by the Woolworth Building. The tower has a clock face on each of its four sides, located from the 25th to the 27th floor. Each clock face is 26.5 feet in diameter, and each number is four feet tall. Each of the minute hands weighs half a ton. The tower was the world headquarters for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company until 2005.
In 2002, a new computerized multi-color night lighting system, much like the one on the Empire State Building, was added to the tower. Colors change to indicate particular holidays or important events. The golden dome at the top of the building serves as an "eternal light", which remains illuminated even after the rest of the lighting system has been turned off for the night. The building featured prominently in advertising for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company for many years, illustrated with light shining from the top of its spire and the slogan "The Light That Never Fails."
In March 2005, SL Green Realty Corp. purchased the tower in anticipation of converting it into apartments. In May 2007, the tower and adjacent air rights were subsequently sold to Africa Israel Investments, which then sold them to Marriott Hotels in October 2011. Marriott is believed to be targeting the site for its Edition Hotel boutique line.