The tour was led by the great-granddaughter of the building's architect, Cass Gilbert, and it was superb.
What I didn't expect were the ornamental birds beyond the obligatory bald eagle above the entrance on Broadway.
There was the stone owl carved atop the doorway, and then there was an incredible stained-glass vaulted-ceiling mosaic in the lobby by Heinigke & Bowen that featured several colorful (and tropical) birds. (Click to enlarge.)
The question is, are these real birds -- parrots perhaps -- or figments of the artist's imagination?
We figured the final fanciful bird might be a Phoenix.
Would love to hear what you think. Can you I.D. any of the birds?
More about the tours here.