воскресенье, 28 октября 2012 г.

World Trade Center

The World Trade Center was originally a complex of seven buildings in Lower Manhattan. They were destroyed by terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. A new complex is currently under construction.
Today a new complex is rising at the site, known as the 'new WTC'. A memorial to the victims of the attacks now occupies the location of the former Twin Towers.

The Twin Towers

World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The two towers were different in height: the first one, built in 1972, reached a height of 417 meters and the second one, finished one year later measured 415 meters. The One World Trade Center was the tallest building in the world until 1974, when the Sears Tower was built in Chicago. At the time of their destruction, the Twin Towers still ranked in the top 10 of the highest buildings in the world and dominated the skyline of lower Manhattan.

The World Trade Center was a project started up in 1960 by David Rockefeller. The towers were sometimes nicknamed David and Nelson, the Rockefeller brothers. The design came from Minoru Yamasaki and Emery Roth & Sons. The monolithic Twin Towers were never seen as great architecture, but it certainly was a great engineering feat.

Battery Park City

In the late 1970s, an area that was once part of the Hudson River became a vibrant neighborhood at the tip of Manhattan.
How Battery Park City was Formed
By the late 1950s, due in part to the growing popularity of air transportation, the shipping piers in Lower Manhattan's port area had become 
Battery Park City
largely dilapidated. In an effort to revitalize that part of the city, local government began to consider ways to better use the space.
By the 1960s, ideas emerged to build a 90-acre planned community near the city's busy financial district and architect Wallace K. Harrison called for a "comprehensive community consisting of housing, social infrastructure and light industry".

Funding began in 1972 and during the next few years, existing piers were buried and 1.2 million cubic yards (917,000 cubic meters) of dirt and rocks excavated during the construction of the World Trade Center and other smaller projects was used to build Battery Park City (BPC), named for the nearby park.

PanAm Building

The Metlife building, still known by many as the Pan Am Building is probably the one skyscraper most New Yorkers would like to see demolished.
A Blocked View
PanAm Building
The main reasons for the dislike of the New Yorkers for this building are the blocking of the view on Park Avenue and the massive structure, which has often been criticized as 'cheap quality' or 'monumental bad architecture'. On the other hand the structural concept of the building is very intriguing and its sheer massiveness symbolizes New York as a huge compact city. Due to its location though, the building completely blocks the view on Park Avenue and the - much more appraised - New York Central building (Helmsley Building), which dates from 1929.

United States Custom House

The U.S. Custom House - a National Historic Landmark that is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places - is an imposing Beaux-Arts building designed by Minnesota architect Cass Gilbert. The Custom House was one of the first public building projects to employ private architects.
The Building
The current Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House sits on Bowling Green at the tip of Manhattan, occupying the site where the first Custom House was built in the late 1700s 
Facade of the Alexander Hamilton US Customs House, Manhattan, New York City
but destroyed by fire in 1814.

By 1892, it was evident that the Customs Service, which had moved from place to place for almost 80 years after the fire, needed a permanent and larger place to call its own. The government purchased the old Bowling Green site, and in 1893, the new Tarsney Act authorized the secretary of the treasury to use private architects, selected through architectural competitions, to design federal buildings.

Prospect Park

This beautiful 585-acre (237 ha) large park is an oasis in the middle of bustling Brooklyn.
Designed by famed landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the designers of Central Park in Manhattan, Prospect Park was built in the 1860s. Olmsted and Vaux considered this park a better creation than Central Park.

Meant to provide the growing population of Brooklyn with a place to enjoy trees, flowers, and recreational activities, the park was to be a relaxing, pastoral landscape. According to Engineer-in-chief Egbert L. Viele, this park was to be a tranquil haven where people could recover from the hectic city life.

The park is created around a wide open grassland, known as the Long Meadow. 
Long Meadow, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York City
Long Meadow
At almost one mile (1.5km) in length, this is the longest meadow in all of New York City.

Fort Tryon Park

Fort Tryon Park is a 67 acre (27 hectare) large park located on a cliffy terrain in the Hudson Heights neighborhood, which is part of Washington Heights, an area in the northwest of Manhattan Island.
Due to its high topographical location, the park offers great views over the surrounding landscape.
The most popular attractions in the park are the beautiful Heather Garden and the Cloisters, a replica of a Medieval monastery which is home to a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and has magnificent displays of medieval art.

Fort Tryon Flagpole
Fort Tryon Flagpole

Fort Tryon

Fort Tryon Park is situated at the site of the former Fort Tryon, which was one of several outposts of Fort Washington. The fort was used during the American Revolution by the Continental army in an effort to repel the British Army.

The British Forces and their Hessian mercenaries however defeated the revolutionaries on November 16, 1776 and named the outpost after Major General Sir William Tryon, the last British governor of the colonial province New York. Remains of the fortifications are still clearly visible in the park. A plaque and flagpole commemorate the defense of the outpost.

Park Avenue

The classiest street in New York City, Park Avenue has always been associated with the "rich and famous".
History of the Street
Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York City
Once upon a time in the mid 1800s, Park Avenue bore a different name - Fourth Avenue - and it carried the tracks of the New York and Harlem Railroad. As development in New York City progressed, some train tracks were sunk and portions of the boulevard were renamed Park Avenue due to the green, park-like areas present in the vicinity.

The building of Grand Central Terminal in 1927 allowed for auto traffic to proceed down the street without hassle and more of this wide expanse was open to traffic and became known as Park Avenue. By 1956, all of Fourth Avenue from 17th Street to the remainder of its distance became known as Park Avenue.

Jefferson Market Library

Located in Manhattan's tony Greenwich Village neighborhood, the Jefferson Market Library is a branch of New York City's acclaimed public library system. This unique building became a library in 1967, but prior to that had a long and colorful history.
The Early Days
The Jefferson Market Library, originally a courthouse, was designed in the Victorian Gothic style and was erected between 1875 and 1877 alongside an adjacent prison and market. It cost $360,000 to build and housed a police court, a civil court, and a basement where prisoners were held before they headed off to jail.

Jefferson Market Library, New York
The building was continuously lauded for its unique and splendid architecture and was often touted as one of the most beautiful buildings in the country at the turn of the century.

The courthouse was the site of a number of famous trials, including the murder trial of Harry Thaw, who was accused of killing architect Stanford White. The famous trial, which also involved chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit, became the subject for E.L. Doctorow's novel Ragtime, which was eventually turned into an award-winning Broadway musical.

Carl Schurz Park

Named for a Civil War general and newspaper editor, Carl Schurz Park is one of New York City's loveliest public green spaces.
History and Design
Sitting at the edge of the German-American 
Carl Schurz Park, Manhattan, New York City
community of Yorkville, 15-acre (6 ha) Carl Schurz Park pays homage to a German revolutionary who became an American statesman and reformer and served as a Union Army General in the Civil War. Schurz and his sister were also instrumental in setting up the "kindergarten" system in the U.S. and he later became a prominent journalist in the city as well.

Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum is considered one of the best art institutions in the United States.
History of the Museum
The Brooklyn Museum was originally conceived as 
Brooklyn Museum, New York City
Brooklyn Museum
the Brooklyn Institute for Arts and Sciences, the focal point of an educational complex planned in the 19th century for the growing city of Brooklyn, which would eventually include the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Prospect Park Zoo, and the Central Library. The idea was to create a museum six times the size of what was eventually built, but the ambitious plans were shelved when Brooklyn became a borough of 
Hall of the Americas, Brooklyn Museum, New York City
Hall of the Americas
New York City in 1898.

9/11 Memorial

The National September 11 Memorial commemorates the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The memorial opened on the 10th anniversary of the attacks at the site of the former twin towers of the WTC.

Design Competition

Soon after the attacks on the World Trade Center plans were made to create a memorial to commemorate the victims of the tragedy. As early as in April 2003, a competition was launched by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for the design of a World Trade Center memorial. In total 5,201 submissions were made from 63 different countries. 
Reflecting Pool, September 11 Memorial, NYC
Reflecting Pool
On January 6, 2004, a 13 member jury selected a design by architect Michael Arad and Peter Walker. The jury lauded the openness of the design, which was dubbed 'Reflecting Absence'.

суббота, 4 августа 2012 г.

Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York is dedicated to the development of New York and covers its past as well as the present and future of this fascinating metropolis. The museum is housed in a beautiful mansion at New York's Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue.

The Mansion

The Museum of the City of New York, established in 1923, was first located in Gracie Mansion, now part of Carl Schurz Park. In 1932 the museum moved to its current home at Fifth Avenue between 102nd and 103rd Streets. 
Hall in the Museum of the City of New York
Inside the mansion
The stately building, designed by Joseph H. Freedlander in a Georgian Revival style, nicely complements the many grand mansions that were built along upper Fifth Avenue by industrial magnates during the 19th and early 20th century.

Grand Army Plaza

Central Park's Grand Army Plaza is one of two in New York City with the same name. The other - more famous, but less touristy - is near Brooklyn's Prospect Park.
Grand Army Plaza, Manhattan
Grand Army Plaza
Situated on Fifth Avenue at 59th Street, Manhattan's Grand Army Plaza was completed in 1916. This plaza bears the moniker "grand" not because of its size. It is, in fact, named for the Grand Army of the Potomac, which was the name given to the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Manhattan Municipal Building

One of the largest government buildings in the world, the Municipal Building in downtown Manhattan is a magnificent structure worthy of its "City Landmark" designation.
Manhattan Municipal Building, New York City
History of the Municipal Building
By the 1880s, the city of New York was growing in leaps and bounds. The population had increased to more than a million residents and the government was outgrowing its offices. The mayor, Franklin Edson, recognized the need for more space for government offices and was reluctant to add onto the original City Hall building.

среда, 13 июня 2012 г.

Chanin Building

One of New York's most stunning Art Deco buildings, the Chanin Building uses a number of different materials in many inventive ways.
Centrally located on East 42nd Street near the Grand Central Terminal, the 
Chanin Building, New York City
Chanin Building
Chanin Building was constructed between 1927 and 1929 for noted developer Irwin Chanin by Sloan and Robertson architectural firm. One of the tallest buildings of its time, it contains 56 floors and stretches to a towering 680 feet.

Irwin S. Chanin
The Chanin Building was seen by some as an example of the American Dream. A mere 20 years before the completion of this massive skyscraper, the developer, Irwin S. Chanin, an engineer who had worked on the construction of New York's subway, decided to get into the construction business. With only 200$ and some additional funding he started building small houses in Brooklyn. Soon he would expand into the construction of hotels, theaters and apartment buildings, amassing a fortune in the process.
Irwin Chanin himself saw the Chanin building as an 'architectural beauty wedded to business efficiency' and advertised the skyscraper in brochures as an icon of progress.

East Coast War Memorial

The United States boasts many memorials dedicated to those who've lost their lives in combat. Specifically, New York City's East Coast Memorial pays homage to those who gave of their lives during World War II
East Coast War Memorial, New York
East Coast War Memorial
while engaged in combat in the vast Atlantic Ocean.
Erected in 1963 and dedicated by former U.S. president John F. Kennedy, the East Coast War Memorial was commissioned by a small independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government known as the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). The commission was established in 1923 "to commemorate the service, achievements, and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces where they have served overseas since 1917, and within the U.S. when directed by public law".

Columbia University

The oldest university in New York and the fifth oldest in the United States, Columbia University was founded as an Anglican institution in 1754.
Columbia University, Manhattan, New York
Columbia University
Established by a charter issued by King George I, the university was first known as King's College and 30 years later - after the American Revolution - changed its name to Columbia.

The Campus of Columbia University

Columbia has occupied its current site in Manhattan's Morningside Heights district since 1897. The president at that time, Seth Low, hoped that the move uptown would give the university more room to expand.

понедельник, 2 апреля 2012 г.

Union Square

Union Square was created in the early 19th century at the convergence of what is now Broadway and Fourth Avenue. The square is a popular place for political rallies and public protests. It is also known for its Greenmarket, an outdoor market where local farmers sell fresh produce.


Union Square, New York City
Union Square
Originally used as a potter's field, the history of the current square goes back to 1811 when the gridiron plan of Manhattan, originally conceived in 1807, was approved. The area was named Union Place since it was the site of the 'union' of two major streets: Broadway and Fourth Avenue (then Bloomingdale Road and Bowery Road). It was officially designated as a public space in 1831.

Riverside Park

Located on the Upper West Side, this narrow strip of parkland makes you think you've left the city!
The Design of the Park
Extending for four miles (6 km) from 72nd to 158th Street along the 
Riverside Park, Manhattan, New York City
Riverside Park
Hudson River, Riverside Park is truly one of the nicest spots in Manhattan. A New York "Designated Scenic Landmark", the park has long provided respite for those looking to escape the crowds of the city.

Designed in 1873 by Central Park's Frederick Law Olmsted, who is responsible for many NY parks, Riverside Park boasts a variety of different landscapes, from colorful flower gardens to rocky precipices.

Cathedral of St. John the Divine

In 1887, the Episcopalians decided to build a grand cathedral in New York City dedicated to St. John the Divine. It isn't quite finished yet!

In the Beginning

Cathedral of St. John The Divine, New York
Cathedral of St. John the Divine
In response to the construction of the Catholic Church's amazing St. Patrick's Cathedral at 50th and Fifth Avenue, the Episcopal Diocese of New York decided to build one of its own. Thus began the plans for The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Brooklyn Heights

Considered to be America's first suburb, the neighborhood known as Brooklyn Heights offers a look at stunning brownstones and quiet tree-lined streets, not to mention killer views of Manhattan.
Brooklyn Heights was one of the first areas outside the city of Manhattan to be settled. Wealthy city investors
Brooklyn Heights, New York City
chose this neighborhood along the East River so that they could watch the new skyscrapers as they were constructed, eventually creating the most famous skyline in the world.

Lever House

At only 302 ft, the Lever House is a small building by Manhattan standards, but the glass-walled skyscraper marked a turning point in American office architecture.

Lever House
A Squeaky Clean Building
The Lever House was constructed in 1952 as the new headquarters for the Lever Brothers Company, the biggest manufacturers of soap and detergents.

They commissioned Skidmore, Owings and Merrill to build a modern, clean and American building. Gordon Brunshaft, the leading architect, based its design on earlier ideas from European modernist architects such as Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, but it was the first time their radical ideas were implemented in a corporate office tower.

World Financial Center

The World Financial Center is a complex of four postmodern buildings designed by Cesar Pelli.
What's There?
Situated in Battery Park City, just across 
World Financial Center, New York City
World Financial Center
the street from the site of the former World Trade Center towers, the World Financial Center (WFC) was built between 1985 and 1988. Designed by Cesar Pelli and overlooking the Hudson River, the center was built on the same landfill that was used to construct the rest of Battery Park City. The landfill included dirt excavated from the site of the World Trade Center, which was cleared to make room for the towers.

Seagram Building

Built as the corporate headquarters for Canadian distillers Joseph E. Seagram and Sons, the innovative Seagram Building set the stage for the design of New York skyscrapers for many years to come.
Situated on New York's famed Park Avenue between 52nd and 53rd Street, the Seagram 
Seagram Building, New York City
Building was a pioneer in its time. Designed by well-known German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in collaboration with American Philip Johnson, this building was to become a model for the next 40 years of NYC skyscrapers.

Most skyscrapers in the 1950s and prior had a decorated facade built around a structural frame. However, van der Rohe was hoping for a different look. He wanted the building's structural elements to be visible. Unfortunately, building codes forbid that, demanding that all structural steel be covered with some sort of fireproofing material, usually concrete.

New York Public Library

It's certainly fitting that one of the grandest cities in the world would boast one of the grandest libraries in the world! The New York Public Library has long been a magnificent educational and architectural landmark in Manhattan, a city known for doing everything on a large scale.
New York Public Library
Public Library
This beautiful library is situated in Manhattan's midtown section, on ritzy Fifth Avenue between 40th and 42nd Street. Several million people travel through the doors of the New York Public Library each year and an amazing 1.8 million individuals are NY library card holders.

Tudor City

Tudor City is a historic district in Midtown Manhattan developed in the 1920s by Fred F. French. It comprises 12 buildings in Tudor style.
In the 1920s, the Fred F. French company started to buy lots on the east side of Midtown Manhattan for a large housing project. 
Tudor City
The run-down area consisted mostly of tenements and brownhouses, bordered on the east by a gas company, breweries and slaughterhouses, causing filth and an unbearable smell.


New York is full of exciting and quirky neighborhoods, and SoHo certainly fits both of those descriptions. A true example of urban gentrification, SoHo delights visitors with excellent restaurants, fun shops, interesting architecture, and enticing art galleries.
The Birth of SoHo
The name SoHo is an acronym for "SOuth of HOuston Street". The neighborhood stretches down to Canal Street and is sandwiched between Sixth Avenue to the West and Lafayette
Street (just east of Broadway) to the east.

Early SoHo was an industrial zone, full of cast-iron warehouses and cobblestone streets. Large upscale companies used the warehouses to store their extra merchandise and made use of the ornate window fronts to display some of their finest wares.

суббота, 18 февраля 2012 г.


Granted official New York City Landmark status in 1993, the magnificent Waldorf-Astoria Hotel has been beckoning guests to come and enjoy the opulence of the Big Apple since 1931.

The Hotel and its History

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City
The current Waldorf-Astoria, which sits on posh Park Avenue between East 49th and 50th Streets, wasn't the first hotel to bear that name. The original hotel (at Fifth Avenue and 33rd) was actually created by a merger of two separate hotels, built by cousins William Waldorf Astor and John Jacob Astor IV. Each had erected their own luxury hotel in the early 1890s, adjacent to one another. In 1897, the two buildings were joined by a corridor, thus the "=" symbol in the new official name of the hotel - The Waldorf=Astoria.