109 South Warren Street
Architects: Thompson and Churchill, New York

When the 23 story State Tower building opened in 1927, it was the tallest building between Albany and Buffalo and had 50% more office space than any other building in the region.  To this day it remains the tallest building in Central New York, outside Rochester.

Syracuse, like other cities at that time, had setback requirements to keep tall buildings from blocking all the sunlight that might reach the street.  Setbacks also gave buildings a greater appearance of height.  The designers of the State Tower enhanced this effect further by gradually adjusting the exterior brick color from darker to lighter as the building rises to its peak.  This also gives the building a bright appearance, even on cloudy days.

The designers said the building was to be "ideal for big business and still have the finest small offices in Syracuse."  To accomplish this, the first 10 stories, with the attached parking garage, spread out to nearly cover the entire site, while the upper floors were small enough  that even a modestly sized firm might have an entire floor to themselves.

(courtesy, the State Tower Building)

(Courtesy, Onondaga Public Library)

This postcard from the 1950's shows how the exterior brick becomes lighter as the building rises ever higher.
Like the Niagara Mohawk building yet to come (in 1932), the State Tower had dramatic nighttime illumination when it first opened.  These lights were last seen in the 1960's.

And like the Chrysler and Empire State buildings that were to follow (1930 and 1931, respectively), the State Tower building was Art Deco in design and decor.  It had a gleaming brass entry way with colorful decoration in the lobby, reminiscent of local Native American designs.

Notice the sculptural quality of the building's top stories, particularly here on the south elevation facing downtown.  This view is obscured today by multiple microwave, satellite and cellular antennas.

(Ccurtesy, the State Tower Building)

The very young man on the right below is Robert Corn, a nephew of the building's first owners, Albert and Charles Mayer. He is standing next to an artist's conception of the new structure prior to construction.  Corn was the manager of the State Tower building well into his 70's.

The man on the left is unidentified.

(Courtesy, the State Tower Building)

(Courtesy, the State Tower Building)

State Tower Building - Continued

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