In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Colleen Atwood (costume designer), Stuart Craig (set designer) and Anna Pinnock (set dresser) for the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them movie discuss the film's "secrets."
Another way that the architecture cleverly tied MACUSA to Hogwarts: “When you approach the main entrance of the Woolworth Building, which is a big Gothic arch, and you look right up into the point of that arch, there’s an owl carved in the stones and that [detail> for Jo Rowling must have cinched [the building as inspiration>. At one time, the script was written that the owl would actually come to life—it would animate, fly down and into the revolving doors and take visitors with it.”
Although Rowling specified how the exterior looked, Craig was able to take “total liberty” with the interior—designing a cathedral of light outfitted in the striking Art Deco style of the 1920s.
“The interior has a series of sharp windows at ground level—muggle windows with muggle businesses like lawyers and accountants and things,” explained Craig. “But once you go through the door, you kind of penetrate that layer and get into the inner core of it. And that’s where MACUSA, the headquarters, is. Below are five or six floors of basement, which is where the work is done, where bureaucracy functions.”