Bell Atlantic Co.
Built in 1929 by renowned architect Ralph Thomas Walker, the New Jersey Bell Building has stood as an industrial icon in Newark for close to a century; representing the city's vast history of innovation and progressive vision. Known for its quintessential art-deco design and 21-story skyscraper architecture, this Newark landmark served as the original corporate headquarters for the Bell Company, still featuring the original brick and sandstone facade, complete with sculptures of telephone operators and symbols of connectivity along with the grand mosaic in the lobby. This iconic masterpiece was registered with the National Historic Register in 2005 and continues to symbolize the human relationship to worldwide communications throughout its design.
The famed art-deco American architect was born in Connecticut in 1889 and began apprenticeships and schooling in design by the age of 18. In 1919 he was offered a junior design position at McKenzie, Voorhes and Gmelin in New York where he focused on skyscraper design. In 1921 he was commissioned to design the Barclay-Vesey Building by New York Telephone which is now credited as the first skyscraper in New York. He received the AIA Centennial Medal of Honor in 1957 and the New York Times coined him the “Architect of the Century” with construction of the Walker Tower in Chelsea, the Salvation Army Headquarters on West 14th Street, the Irving Trust Bank on Wall Street and the New Jersey Bell Headquarters Building in Newark. He died in 1973 but his architectural masterpieces continue to inspire.