Buildings and architecture of New York City

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The skyline of New York City is one of the most distinctive in the world. Many of New York's skyscrapers pioneered a new urban form that saw city building shift from the low-scale European tradition to the vertical rise of business districts.

Surrounded mostly by water, New York's residential density and the extremely high real estate values found in the city's commercial districts saw the city amass the largest collection of individual, free-standing office and residential towers in the world <ref>Skyscraper </ref><ref> York City</ref>.


[edit] Skyline

New York in fact has three separately recognizable skylines: Midtown Manhattan, Downtown Manhattan (also known as Lower Manhattan), and Downtown Brooklyn. The largest of these skylines is in Midtown, which is the largest central business district in the world, and also home to such notable buildings as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and Rockefeller Center. The Downtown skyline comprises the third largest central business district in the United States (after Midtown and Chicago's Loop), and was once characterized by the presence of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

Today it is undergoing the rapid reconstruction of Lower Manhattan, and will include the new One World Trade Center Freedom Tower, which will rise to a height of 1776 ft. when completed in 2010. The Downtown skyline will also be getting notable additions soon from such architects as Santiago Calatrava and Frank Gehry. Also, Goldman Sachs is building a 225 meter (750 feet) tall, 43 floor building across the street from the World Trade Center site.

New York City has a long history of tall buildings. It has been home to 10 buildings that have held the world's tallest fully inhabitable building title at some point in history, although half have since been demolished. The first building to bring the world's tallest title to New York was the New York World Building, in 1890. Later, New York City was home to the world's tallest building for 75 continuous years, starting with the Park Row Building in 1899 and ending with 1 World Trade Center upon completion of the Sears Tower in 1974. One of the world's earliest skyscrapers, still standing in the city, is the Park Row Building, built in 1899.

The Downtown Brooklyn skyline is the smallest of the three New York City skylines, and is centered around a major transportation hub in Northwestern Brooklyn. The borough of Queens has also been developing its own skyline in recent years with a Citigroup office building (which is currently the tallest building in NYC outside Manhattan), and the Queens West development of several residential towers along the East River waterfront.

[edit] Notable skyscrapers

Image:NOAA photo of WTC Lower Manhattan.jpg
The World Trade Center the Former Tallest buldings in New York City

New York City has the most individual, free-standing skyscrapers in the world with 47 buildings taller than 200 meters and 3 taller than 300 meters. For comparison, Hong Kong, which has the most skyscrapers in the world<ref> Kong Note: Hong Kong will have the most skyscrapers in the world if skyscrapers rising from a common podium are counted individually as separate skyscrapers, which they are at Emporis. </ref>, has 43 taller than 200 meters, 5 taller than 300 meters; and Chicago has 19 taller than 200 meters, 5 taller than 300.

World Trade Center Towers 1 and 2 were the two tallest buildings in the city before they were destroyed on September 11th, 2001.

The Empire State Building, a 102-story contemporary Art Deco style building, was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon and finished in 1931. The tower takes its name from the nickname of New York State and is currently the tallest building in the city.

Image:Manhattan at Dusk by slonecker.jpg
The Empire State Building, with the Chrysler Building behind. They are iconic New York skyscrapers.

Completed in 1930, the Chrysler Building is a distinctive symbol of New York, standing 1,048 feet (319 m) high on the east side of Manhattan. Originally built for the Chrysler Corporation, the building is presently co-owned by TMW Real Estate (75%) and Tishman Speyer Properties (25%). The Chrysler Building was the first structure in the world to surpass the 1,000 foot threshold.

The GE Building is a slim Art Deco skyscraper and the focal point of Rockefeller Center. At 850 ft (259 m) with 70 floors, it is the seventh tallest building in New York and the 30th tallest in the United States. Built in 1933 and originally called the RCA Building, it is one of the most famous and recognized skyscrapers in New York. The frieze above the main entrance was executed by Lee Lawrie and depicts Wisdom, along with a slogan that reads "Wisdom and Knowledge shall be the stability of thy times".

The International Style was a groundbreaking exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art that completely changed the face of architecture in New York and the world. Mies Van Der Rohe, a focus of the show, later built the Seagram Building on 5th Ave at 53rd Street. One of the most important buildings for modern architecture, the Seagram Building transformed its midtown site, the development of tall buildings, and the history of architecture. Other architects replicated details from Seagram within New York and around the world for decades following its completion in the late 1950s. The bronze extrusions attached to the mullions are exemplary of this trend in tall building design and can be seen in many cities.

The MetLife Building, formerly the Pan Am Building, was the largest commercial office building in the world when it opened on 7 March 1963. It is an important part of the Manhattan skyline and one of the fifty tallest buildings in the USA.

Time Warner Center is a mixed-use skyscraper at Columbus Circle in Midtown Manhattan. It has attracted much attention as the first major building to be completed since the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks and has become known to many New Yorkers as the "new twin towers." Additional publicity was generated in 2003 when David Martinez paid $45 million dollars for a penthouse condominium, a record for New York residential sales.

The Condé Nast Building, officially Four Times Square, is a modern skyscraper in Times Square in Midtown Manhattan and one of the most important examples of green design in skyscrapers in the United States. Environmentally friendly gas-fired absorption chillers, along with a high-performing insulating and shading curtain wall, ensure that the building does not need to be heated or cooled for the majority of the year. Office furniture is made with biodegradable and non-toxic materials. The air-delivery system provides 50% more fresh air than is required by New York City Building Code, and a number of recycling chutes serve the entire building. Being the first project of its size to undertake these features in construction, the building has received an award from the American Institute of Architects, as well as AIA New York State.

[edit] Residential buildings

Many residential communities of New York City express character distinct from that the skyscrapers of the commercial cores. These include brownstones rowhouses and apartment buildings which were built during the city's rapid expansion from 1870–1930. Between 1870–1930 one might say that Stone and brick became the city's building materials of choice after the construction of wood-frame houses was limited in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1835. Unlike Paris, which for centuries was built from its own limestone bedrock, New York has always drawn its building stone from a far-flung network of quarries and its stone buildings have a variety of textures and hues. In the days before rail, stones were floated down the Hudson River or along the Atlantic Seaboard from pits in New England. Later, trains brought marble from Vermont and granite from Minnesota. The United States Custom House, built in the early 20th century at Bowling Green, contains at least 20 varieties of stone.

Beyond the 1950s, federal housing projects dramatically changed the city's appearance. New large scale (frequently high-rise) residential complexes replaced older, frequently troubled and sometimes valuable, communities at times removing artifacts and landmarks that would now be of even greater value. During this period, many of these new projects were completed under the guise of urban renewal by the famed and powerful Robert Moses. Urban Renewal has been held in great contempt and the resulting housing projects have been considered a failure. This is partially because of lacking maintenance and inconsistent funding.

Beautiful residential buildings can be found on Fifth Avenue and Central Park West, surrounding Central Park from both sides. Riverside Park also has many respected old-money residential buildings.

Today, the stone used in Manhattan skyscrapers may come from almost anywhere: Norway, Uruguay, Belgium. The so-called Pahlavi office tower on Fifth Avenue, built by officials from the government of the deposed Shah of Iran, has stone from Finland.

[edit] References

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[edit] See also

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Buildings and architecture of New York City

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