Notes on the Geography of Spain: Madrid: Photo 37
The Gran Via begins here at the intersection with the much older Calle de Alcala. The Beaux-Arts Metropolis Building opened in 1911, while the Gran Via was being developed. The design for the Metropolis was the subject of a competition won by Jules and Raymond Fevrier; the owner was La Unión y el Fénix, an insurance company. The result was a Beaux-Arts landmark with Ganymede and a Phoenix atop a partly gilt dome. The figures atop the columns represent Mining, Agriculture, Industry, and Commerce. Since 1972 the building has belonged to Metrópolis Seguros, which has renovated the building.
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