55 Central Park West, New York City
unknown photographer, c. 1930s
This photo shows the building used in the 1984 movie Ghostbusters. It was built in 1930 by Schwartz and Gross. In the movie’s fictional history of the building, it was designed by a mad cult leader who built the top to resemble a ziggurat. The temple at the top is supposed to attract Gozer the Gozerian, a demigod worshipped by the Sumerians, who will in turn bring about the end of the world.
The ziggurat shape was particularly popular in the Art Deco style of the early 20th century. There was a craze during the 1920s in particular for things ancient, historical, or primitive, and ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, and Aztec structures and art dominated certain aspects of the style. The geometric shapes of many buildings from the Art Deco period were inspired by ziggurats and pyramids.
The building at 55 Central Park West was also used as a location for the movie Elf.