Architecture of New York City: 7 Monuments That Showcase New York's Incredible Architecture

The architecture of New York City is one of the things that make ‘the Big Apple’ so famous because the sky scraping buildings not only speak on behalf of the opulence but also a rich history, sometimes even painful. The concrete jungle in the five boroughs is complemented by brick, steel and glass, making ‘Skyscraper National Park’ a perfect name given to New York City by Kurt Vonnegut in “Slapstick”. In terms of designs, New York City has colonial architecture like St Paul’s Chapel, Neoclassical or Greek Revival architecture as in Federal Hall, Renaissance Revival architecture in Flatiron Building, Gothic Revival architecture in Trinity Church etc.

Artistic excellence is shown in New Era Building with art nouveau design, Brooklyn Museum with beaux-arts design, American Radiator Building with art deco style, Met Breur with Brutalism, Lincoln Center with New Formalism, Cooper Union New Academic Building with Deconstructivism and Westin Times Square with Postmodernism.

11 Fine Examples of the Wonderful Architecture of New York City

1. Statue Of Liberty

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Sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the neoclassical monument featuring Roman Goddess Libertas on Liberty Island can be reached from New York Harbor. The Lady Liberty enlightening the world is the copper statue standing at 93m height with a metal framework done by Gustave Eiffel and it was a gift from France. This UNESCO World Heritage Site can be visited at free of cost although there is a fee for museum/pedestal and to climb up the staircase to the crown.

2. One World Trade Center

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Once home to the world’s tallest Twin Towers of World Trade Center during 1973 to 2001 when the devastating terrorist attack took place, now the 1 World Trade Center at a height of 1776 feet is the tallest of the western hemisphere. Also known as Freedom Tower, One WTC or One World Trade, is built on 185-feet concrete and features a 90-feet mural and 3-storied observation deck.

3.Grand Central Terminal

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The two-leveled Grand Central terminal of Midtown Manhattan is the southern terminus commuter railway terminal of Metro-North railroad and serves the New York metropolitan area. The 3rd busiest in North America, this beaux-art terminal has retail outlets, 65 lifestyle shops, Grand Central Market, eateries, Leather Spa, pharmacy, tennis club, dining concourse, whispering gallery and more under the decorated dome mural.

4. Empire State Building

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The second tallest after World Trade Center, Empire State Building is an art-deco 102-storey skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. Featuring in movies like King Kong and television shows like Doctor Who, the tower has outdoor and indoor observation deck on 86th floor and observatory on 80th and 102nd floor which is pinnacled by the lighting rod.

5. Oculus

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Designed by Santiago Calatrava, the freestanding steel and glass station house off Oculus is the Transportation Hub of the World Trade Center. On the axis along ‘Wedge of Light’ Plaza, Oculus pays tribute to 9/11 victims and features white interlocking ribs meeting on the roof to the well-lit interior.

6. New York Public Library

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The 2nd largest in the United States and the 3rd largest in the world, New York Public Library was designed by Hastings and Carrere in beaux-arts design. The main entrance is flanked by 2 Tennessee marble lion figures namely Fortitude and Patience. The Rose Reading Room and 51-feet ceilings featuring intricate moldings and cloud paintings are notable parts of the library.

7. Belvedere Castle

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Opened in 1872, the folly Belvedere Castle is located in Central Park of Manhattan and was designed in Romanesque and Gothic style by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. The granite structure comes with conical capped corner tower and has observation deck, exhibit rooms and weather station.

8. Metropolitan Museum of Art

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The largest art museum of the United States, Metropolitan Museum of Art has a collection of over 5000 years of global art ranging from the earliest African, Asian, Egyptian, Greek, American, Islamic and European cities till date. With tickets ranging from USD 12-25, the Met has its main building along Museum Mile and the smaller building The Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park. There are collections of costume, armory, photographs, musical instruments and film.

9. Brooklyn Bridge

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The cable-stayed Brooklyn Bridge designed by John Augustus Roebling and constructed during 1869-83 is a suspension bridge on the East River connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan. Four main cables support the two main suspension towers. Only about 2 kilometers long, you can walk along it for some photo opportunities from the deck at around 39m above the mean high water-level.

10. Chrysler Building

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Featured in many movies, documentaries and shows, the 3rd tallest building of the city, Chrysler Building features art-deco style as designed by William Van Alen. Standing at 1046 feet with the antenna spire, it has a Cloud Club and observation deck overlooking Turtle Bay neighborhood. The sunburst patterned terraced crown, the grand eagles on the 61st floor and radiator caps on the 31st floor are noteworthy.

11. New York State Pavilion

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Designed by Philip Johnson, Richard Foster and George Cary, the historic fair pavilion in the Flushing Meadows Corona Park from Queens is made of steel and reinforced concrete. The elliptical Tent of Tomorrow is made of 16 piers while the three Observation Towers stand at 85-feet, 160-feet and 226-feet and the Theaterama now houses Queens Theatre for cultural programs.   

From Rockefeller Center to Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Hearst Tower to St Patrick’s Cathedral, Seagram Building to Woolworth Building, the Cooper Union to the United Nations Headquarters, there are much to see keeping your head high when you visit the architecture of New York City, ‘city that never sleeps’.

This post was published by Rachana Jain

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