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12 Must See New York City Buildings

As you can imagine, many New York City buildings have their own rich histories. Even though I’m partial to the old classic styles, I still love some of the new buildings. And I’m thrilled when I notice the way the sun highlights a color that makes a building I’m used to seeing look new and exciting. If I have my camera and I’m not in a hurry, I usually stop and take a photo.

Central Synagogue, New York City
Central Synagogue, New York City

I’ve been fortunate to have visited many, worked in a few and pass by a number of them on my way to and from work everyday. Here are some of my favorites.

  • The Chrysler Building. At 1,047 feet, this Art Deco building, located at 405 Lexington Avenue, was the world’s tallest building from 1930 when it was completed, to 1931 when the Empire State Building edged it out. It is now the second tallest building in New York City after the new Bank of America Tower and the world’s tallest steel supported brick building. No workers died during its construction despite its four floors a week building pace. Although it was built for the Chrysler Corporation and served as its headquarters until the 1950, the Chrysler Building was a project for Walter P. Chrysler’s children. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
  • Grand Central Terminal: Built and owned by the Vanderbilt family, Grand Central Terminal opened in 1871. Located at 89 E 42nd Street, it spans 48 acres and is the largest train station in the world by number of platforms: 44. It serves commuters from Connecticut and New York’s northern counties as well as subway riders. Over 750,000 people pass through Grand Central every day, more than 1 million during the holiday season. The main concourse (275 feet long, 120 feet wide and 125 feet high) houses the information booth. With its four-faced opal clock, estimated to be worth between $10-20 million, is a popular meeting place in this very busy station. Following a 12-year restoration, a beautiful ceiling decorated with constellations of stars was revealed and is now one of the terminal’s attractions. Grand Central Terminal is a New York City Landmark, a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Continue reading “12 Must See New York City Buildings”

Pausing to Look Up

Walking around New York City last week with my sister and niece forced me to pause and look up at buildings I have come to recognize only from eye level.

Take the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower. I can’t count the number of times I have gone to the Flatiron District and never saw it because I hardly ever looked up.

It was the refreshingly bright gold of the cupola against the grey sky that caught my attention and caused me to look up.

Met Life Tower

Then I took in the rest of the building and wondered why I hadn’t noticed it before.

At 700 feet high, the Met Life Tower was, according to Wikipedia, the tallest building in the world from 1909, when it was built, until the Woolworth Building surpassed it in 1913. There are 50 floors.

Clock faces on each side of the tower measure 4 feet tall and 26.5 feet in diameter.

The gilded cupola provides constant illumination.

Next time you’re in the vicinity of 1 Madison Avenue in the Flatiron District, take a look up. I’m sure you’ll be pleased by what you see.

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