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Gelio (Степанов Слава)

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New York from above [апр. 18, 2010|05:30 pm]
Gelio (Степанов Слава)

New York is often called the "capital of the world": it is "the city for one and all"which has incorporated the features of different cultures that undoubtedly affected its appearance.The main feature of a modern New York is definitely skyscrapers. There are more than five hundred buildings higher than 100 meters in the city. In the number of skyscrapers New York is the second after Hong Kong. Many people have to lift their heads up to get acquainted with New York. But in order to fully appreciate the beauty of this city, it is necessary to look at it not from below but from above.

Russian version: http://gelio.livejournal.com/202424.html

The city is relatively young. It was founded in the early 17th century by Dutch colonists. Due to the great amount of water and number of natural water channels, it was originally named New Amsterdam. In 1664 the city was captured without resistance by the English and renamed New York in the honor of the English King's brother, the Duke of York who initiated the capture of the city.


Manhattan is the most highly populated area of New York located on the island with the same name which is 21 kilometers long. In 1626 Manhattan was purchased by the Dutch explorer Peter Minuit from a tribe of еру Indians for 24 dollars. Now the island is worth about $50 billion.

Most part of the island, except the southern historical part, is built up on a rectangular plan. 16 streets parallel to the Hudson river are called "Avenue", and 155 lateral roads are numbered and called "Streets". The exception is Broadway: it cuts almost all Manhattan diagonally. A place between Fifth and Eighth Avenues (from 59th to 110th Street) has been allocated for Central Park.

Skyscrapers are the basis of a modern architecture in New York City.

During the first 200 years New York followed Europe in architectural styles. Now there are no buildings of the Dutch colonial style survived in Manhattan. Many buildings were destroyed in the Great Fire in 1776 or were demolished at the beginning of the 19th century. During the 18th and 19th centuries European trends traced in basic architectural directions. But with the emergence of iron casting and the Art Deco style, the New York architecture went its own way.

Limited area, high price for land and massive rocks contributed to the development of high-rise construction.

The history of skyscrapers in New York started with the construction of the New York World Building in 1890 (it was demolished in 1955). It was the first building exceeded 85-meter Trinity Church in height. Since 1890 11 skyscrapers of the city have held the title of the tallest building in the world. New York faced an early high-rise construction boom, the first wave of which began in 1910 and lasted until the beginning of the 1930s. The second wave of high-rise construction started in 1960 and continues up to the present.

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous sculptures in the USA and around the world. It is often called a "symbol of New York City and the United States", "a symbol of freedom and democracy" and "Lady Liberty". It is a gift of the French people to the centenary of the American Revolution in 1886. The statue is located on Liberty Island, 3 km away from Manhattan.

The Goddess of Liberty holds a torch in her right hand and a tablet in her left hand. The inscription on the tablet says "Eng. JULY IV MDCCLXXVI» (July 4, 1776). This date is the day commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America.

The height from the ground to the tip of the torch makes 93 meters, including the basement and pedestal. The height of the statue itself from the top of the pedestal to the torch is 46 meters.

Ellis Island

Ellis Island is located in the bay of New York. It was the largest check point for immigrants to the United States. 12 million people passed through it from 1892 to 1954. Approximately one out of two Americans now has at least one person in a family tree who arrived to the United States through this island.

Lower Manhattan

Battery Park is one of the oldest recreational areas in New York. Ferries to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty sail from this park. The name of the park originates from the Dutch cannon battery guarding the approaches from the ocean to the city which was here in the 17th century. Since then, the coastline has changed and, as a result of excavation works, has shifted to the sea. After the destruction of the World Trade Center skyscrapers on September 11, 2001 the ruins of the buildings were brought here. It increased the area of the park by 2 ha.

This is the oldest part of the city; modern New York has started its development exactly from this place.

1 World Trade Center and National September 11 Memorial & Museum

There were the Twin Towers earlier on this place. Now this is the memorial with the two largest artificial waterfalls in the USA. The names of 2983 victims are engraved on 76 bronze plates attached to the pools’ parapet. The September 11 Museum itself is located under the waterfalls at the depth of 21 m below the ground.

The height of the tower is 541 meters. This is the third highest skyscraper in the world after the Burj Khalifa and the Abraj Al Bait, and it is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest hanging bridges with a length of 1825 meters. It crosses the East River strait and connects Brooklyn and Manhattan. At the time of completion in 1883, it was the largest hanging bridge in the world.

Manhattan Bridge

This double-deck bridge was built in 1909. The upper deck is the roadway for passenger cars. The lower deck is the route of the New York subway. By the way, New York has the largest metro in the world. It consists of 468 stations and has passenger traffic of 8 million people a day.

Financial District

The Financial District provides tens of thousands working places, a large part of which belong to the major stock exchanges and banks. The district has the highest population density; in the daytime it reaches 378 000 people/km.

Wall Street

Wall Street is considered to be the historical center of the Financial District of the city. The main attraction of the street is the New York Stock Exchange. Figuratively, the stock exchange itself and the entire US stock market are called the same.

5% of the world's gold is stored in the vaults of the Federal Reserve Bank on Wall Street.

Park Row Building

The 30-storey skyscraper is 119 m high. From the moment of completion in 1899 it was the tallest building in the world for nine years. The steel bearing skeleton invented by the Chicago School of Skyscraper Architecture was used in the construction of the building. It is worth of note that Park Row has a decorated façade facing only City Hall Park. Other walls of the building are decorated with simple brickwork.

Woolworth Building

The skyscraper in the neo-gothic style constructed in 1910-1913 as the headquarters of the retail network Woolworth Company was the tallest building in the world for seventeen years. Over 100 years after the construction it has still been included into the list of 50 highest skyscrapers of the USA. Its height is 241 meters (57 floors). The Woolworth Building was designed by the architect Cass Gilbert. The construction cost $13.5 million, and Woolworth paid that amount in cash.

Exterior decoration of the tower was cast in limestone-colored architectural terra-cotta panels. Columns go right to the pyramidal top and give the building its upward thrust; therefore, New Yorkers jokingly call the building "the Hubris of New York".

Civic Center

Manhattan Municipal Building

In 1898 after the unification of the Five Towns, New York felt the lack of space for the governmental offices. In 1909 it was decided to start the construction of the Manhattan Municipal Building, which was supposed to solve the problem. Three years later a 177-meter and 40-storey building was completed, and it was the first skyscraper with a Metro Station built under the building. The building served as the prototype for the Stalinist skyscrapers in Moscow (the similarity can be especially observed in the Moscow State University skyscraper and a high-rise building on Kotelniki).

Union Square

Since the 19th century various protests and demonstrations including rallies for the return of the Dalai Lama back to China, for the release of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and for the creation of the independent Palestinian State have taken place here.

Madison Square is the square at the intersection of two streets: Broadway and Fifth Avenue.

From 1876 to 1882 there was a huge hand of the Statue of Liberty holding a torch in the park. This was the way to ask townspeople to collect money to build the pedestal for the statue. In 1912 the first in New York public Christmas tree was illuminated here. Besides, there is the monument to William H. Seward. Being a US Secretary of State, Seward did his best to purchase Alaska from Russia. He said that only the next generation would appreciate the importance of this purchase. The importance was understood, when gold, copper and oil were found in Alaska.

Flatiron Building

The Flatiron Building is one of the most unusual skyscrapers in New York. The construction of the 82-meter building was completed in 1902. The name "Flatiron" derives from its resemblance to an iron, due to its triangular shape.

Having considerable height, it seemed to be unstable. That was how New Yorkers thought while observing the construction of the building: the townspeople believed that stormy wind would certainly tumble down the structure and put a bet on how far the wrecks would fall down in this case. Men of New York noticed that when the building cut the north wind flow, the flows expanded along the walls and, striking the pavement, formed whirls that lifted ladies’ skirts up to their heads. This feature gathered dozens of men around the building who were dispersed by the police.

Metropolitan Life Tower

The Metropolitan Life Tower is one of the most beautiful gothic skyscrapers in New York. The 50-storey tower was built in 1909 in the image of the Campanile of St. Mark's in Venice. Each side of the building is decorated with a 8-meter clock with 500-kg minute hand.

The Metropolitan Life North Building stands behind the tower. This massive building was designed in the 20s of the previous century as a 100-storey skyscraper. If the project was implemented in its original form, this building would be the tallest in the world for some time. However, the stock market crash with a rapid share fall in 1929 and the period after the Great Depression did not allow carrying out that plan. The skyscraper construction was halted in 1933 at the 29th floor.

Washington Square Park

Once there was a cemetery for slaves and victims of the yellow fever here. About 20 thousand people are still buried deep beneath the park. However, nowadays this park is a popular place to have rest. In 1889 in the honor of the centenary of the inauguration of the first US President George Washington the memorial arch made of wood and plaster was fixed in the park. In 1892 the arch was built of marble.
Fifth Avenue which is the central avenue in Manhattan dividing the street on the western and eastern sides starts from the park.


Empire State Building

It is the most famous skyscraper in New York.
From 1931 to 1970 the Empire State was the tallest building over the world. This is the first building of the world with more than 100 floors. Its height makes 381 meters, and with a television antenna constructed in the 50s, it reaches a height of 443 meters.

It is hard to believe, but the 102-storey Empire State Building was built just in 13 months!!!

The construction began in March 1930. Earlier the hotel Waldorf-Astoria occupied the place which was allotted for the Empire State Building. In November 1929 the hotel building was demolished, and more than 16 thousand trucks of the destroyed parts were taken from the ground. The foundation of the future skyscraper was laid in less than a month, and in April 1930 a steel frame of the building started being constructed. Every week the Empire State Building grew by 4 floors on the average, and at the peak of its construction it became 14 and a half floors higher just in 10 days! The official opening took place on 1 May, 1931, when US President Herbert Hoover turned on the lightening in the building by clicking the button in Washington.

About 3.5 million people visit the viewing ground on the 86th floor every year which was an important source of income in the period of the Great Depression, when the building was named the Empty State Building. The skyscraper had returned back the cost of its construction only by 1948.

The structural strength of the building was proved by the fact that when the twin-engine bomber US Air Force B-25 piloted in thick fog crashed into the building at a height of the 79th floor on July 28, 1945, the building damage was limited by exterior walls and the fire inside. The consequences were pretty soon eliminated, despite the fact that one of the engines of the aircraft flew through the whole building. At that time 14 people died. The lifter Betty Lou Oliver survived in the incident after falling from a height of the 75th floor in the elevator. That situation was recorded in the Guinness Book.

At the beginning the spire was supposed to be used as a mooring mast for dirigibles. However, the idea of air terminal was considered unrealistic, due to security reasons (strong and unstable air flows atop of the building made berthing very difficult, and after the first attempt it became clear that that idea was utopian). No one zeppelin has moored to the building.

In 1964 an illuminating system was installed on the tower to highlight the top with the colors corresponding to any events, memorable dates or holidays. Since then, the lights of the building have become a unique performance: every day of the week has its own color, and during holidays and important dates the skyscraper is illuminated by special color combinations.

The viewing ground of the Empire State Building located on the 86th floor is one of the most popular viewing points in the world. Totally it has been visited by over 110 million people.

It is worth mentioning that more than 30 suicides have been committed here since the launch of the building. In 1947 a fence was constructed around the observation platform, as 5 suicide attempts were made in three weeks. In 1979 miss Elvita Adams decided to commit a suicide and jumped from the 86th floor. But a strong wind threw miss Adams on the 85th floor, and she escaped only with a broken hip.

Bryant Park District

New York Public Library

The New York Public Library is one the largest libraries in the world. The funds of the library contain more than 50 million items (books, videos, maps and so on). More than 20 million of items are books.

American Radiator Building

The skyscraper was built in 1924. In order to make the facade of the building attractive, the bricks for exterior walls were dipped in manganese before laying to make them dark. Now the Bryant Park hotel is located in the building.

The Tower of Bank of America

This is the third highest building in New York after the Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower and is the fifth building in the USA with a height of 366 m.

MetLife Building (Pan Am Building before 1981)

There was the headquarters of Pan American World Airways in this building before 1981. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company bought the building in 1981; since then, the name has been changed. The platforms of the Central Railway Station of New York called Grand Central Terminal are located under the building. It exceeds any railway station in the world in the number of platforms (44) and lines (67).

Midtown East

Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building is one the most famous and recognized skyscrapers in New York. The exterior of the 77-storey building as well as its history are unusual.

The building was constructed in 1930 making 4 floors per week and racing with another skyscraper located in Lower Manhattan at 40 Wall Street and known today as the Trump Building. Architects competed for the right to become the creators of the world's tallest building and made design changes directly in the construction process.

At the last moment the architect William Van Allen agreed a 38-meter steel spire with the authorities and kept this fact in secret until the end of the construction and the beginning of the spire installation on the roof of the skyscraper. The visible part of the spire on the Chrysler Building was installed just in 90 minutes. Thereby, having won the title of the architect of the tallest building in the world, he had kept this title for 11 months before May 1, 1931, when the construction of the Empire State Building was completed.

The Chrysler Building is an example of the Art Deco style in architecture. The figuration of the tower reproduces the cap design on the wheels of the Chrysler car brand at that time. The corners of the 61st floor are decorated with eagles, as they were placed on the hood of the Chrysler car in 1929.

In 2007 the Commission for Architecture in New York announced the Chrysler skyscraper the most beautiful skyscraper in Manhattan.

Bright and shining districts are the heart of Manhattan.

Times Square

Times Square is one of the most popular and frequently visited places in New York. The square got its name in April 1904 after the newspaper New York Times moved its headquarters to the newly constructed Times Building which is now called One Times Square. It is famed for the Times Square Ball which is dropped on its roof every New Year's Eve.

Broadway theaters, a lot of bright neon ads and TV clues have made Times Square one of the inevitable parts of active life in New York. This is the only district of the city where the inhabitants are obliged to expose bright billboards.

The square has different names, particularly, the Crossroads of the World or the Great White Way. It is an iconic landmark of the world, a symbol of New York City and the United States.

Times Square is visited by more than 39 million tourists annually and about 300 thousand people a day.

Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden is the place for international competitions in several kinds of sport and the home arena for the NBA and NHL teams. The capacity of the arena varies depending on the type of activities: from 18 200 seats at hockey games and up to 20 000 seats at concerts. Pennsylvania Station, in other words, Penn Station which is located under the stadium is one of the busiest railway stations in the world.

New Yorker Hotel

In 1940s and 1950s the hotel was one of the most fashionable. Many famous people such as Spencer Tracy, Joan Crawford and Fidel Castro stayed here. The inventor Nikola Tesla spent the last ten years of his life alone in suite 3327, where he died dedicating his time mostly to feeding pigeons and occasional meetings with famous people.

Rockefeller Center

It is the large office center built in the 1930s on the Rockefellers’ money. It was named in the honor of John D. Rockefeller Junior. There are 14 best known high-rise buildings constructed in the Art Deco style. The headquarters of various corporations and the auction house "Christie’s" having the largest income are located here. In 1989 the Rockefeller Center was bought by the Mitsubishi Japanese group of companies from the Rockefellers.

The Lower Plaza square with the annual city’s Christmas tree is located in the center of the complex.

General Electric Building

The 70-storey skyscraper located in the center of the complex was known as the RCA (Radio Corporation of America) Building, but it is more commonly known as 30 Rock. The headquarters of NBC (National Broadcasting Company) is located in this building. Besides, numerous TV series and programs are shot here. There are even tours that allow visiting backstage of the most famous NBC studios and TV shows.

There is a viewing ground at the top of the skyscraper called the Top of the Rock. It is lower than the viewing point of the Empire State Building, but it is considered to provide the best panoramic view of New York City.

St. Patrick's Cathedral is the largest catholic cathedral in the USA built in the neo-gothic style.

The Traffic of Sixth Avenue

Citigroup Center (earlier called Citicorp Center)

There is an interesting peculiarity of the center. Right under the building there is a small Lutheran church. To express the respect towards the cathedral and its parishioners, the architects did not demolish the cathedral and constructed the building above it on massive columns as legs. As a result, the combination of buildings turned out to be rather unusual: the small cathedral and giant skyscraper based on high columns above it. It is worth mentioning that the supports are placed not in the corners and in the middle of each side of the building. In 2002 one of the columns was reinforced with resistant shields made of steel and copper to protect the building from possible terrorist attacks.

Lipstick Building

The color and shape of this 34-storey residential skyscraper were so similar to a lipstick that it was immediately named as the Lipstick Building.

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

The original hotel under this name was opened at the end of the 19th century and demolished in 1929. The Empire State Building was built on its place. The construction of modern Waldorf-Astoria having 47 floors with a capacity of more than 1.4 thousand rooms was completed in 1931. Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald stayed at the hotel. The movie "Scent of a Woman" was filmed here in which Al Pacino won the Oscar for the main role in 1993.

432 Park Avenue

It is the highest residential skyscraper being constructed in the world (the 117-storey "World One" building in Mumbai (India) has not been finished yet). The 426-meter building will have 96 floors and will include 104 apartments which cost from 7 to 95 million dollars.

The 57-storey Residential Skyscraper One 57

Grand Army Plaza Square

The square is located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 53d Street. The 5-star Plaza Hotel is seen on the right in the picture.

The hotel was involved in the shooting of various films such as "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." In February 1964 the Beatles stayed at the hotel during their first visit to New York.

Midtown West

Columbus Circle

The photo of the square is taken from the south-west corner of Central Park at the intersection of Broadway and Eighth Avenue. The monument to Columbus stands in the center of the square. This monument was fixed up in 1892 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America. It is a sort of a zero kilometer for New York.

Central Park is the green oasis located between densely built districts.

The length of the park makes about 4 km, its width is about 800 meters and the total area equals 3.41 km2. As a comparison, it is twice the area of the State of Monaco.

Sheep Meadow

The park is visited by about 25 million people annually that makes it the most frequently attended park in the USA.

The landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted developed the design of the park. The construction was not stopped even during the American Civil War and was fully completed in 1873.

Bow Bridge

Despite the fact that the park looks very natural, almost all landscapes are created artificially. Central Park has several artificial lakes, a large number of parkways, two ice rinks, intact nature and lawns used for a variety of sports and children's playgrounds and a zoo.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

The Dakota

This building built in 1880-1884 has been a premium class residential house. It became popular when the Beatles fan Mark Chapman shot the English musician John Lennon immigrated to the USA on December 8, 1980 in the arch of the house. Now in order to buy an apartment in the Dakota, you need to enlist the support of the committee of residents who have recently denied Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith who hoped to buy apartments here.

The most expensive houses in New York are on the streets around Central Park. Some apartments are worth 20-30 million dollars. However, to buy an apartment here is not so simple. Even if there appears an apartment for sale, the local conservative councils of residents may not approve your candidacy.

San Remo

Many celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Tiger Woods, Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore lived in this house at different times. From 1982 to 2003 some apartments belonged to Steve Jobs in the north tower of the building who later sold it to Bono, the leading singer of U2, for $15 million.

Queensboro Bridge

This is the double-deck cantilever bridge built in 1909 across the East River. At the top deck there are two pedestrian walkways, a bike path and two railway lines. The lower deck has four lanes for traffic. Near the bridge there is the Roosevelt Island Tram which is a cableway stretched over the East River connecting Manhattan and Roosevelt Island.

Headquarters of the United Nations

The United Nations is an international organization of states established in order to maintain and promote peace and security and develop cooperation between the countries. There are 193 United Nations member states, and each of them is a member of the United Nations General Assembly (including the Russian Federation).

Aircraft Carrier USS Intrepid

USS Intrepid is the US Essex-class aircraft carrier built during World War II. The name of the aircraft carrier is translated into Russian as fearless. The ship is moored to pier 86 in New York, and since 1982 it has been the naval and aerospace museum which is visited by thousands of tourists each year.

The museum's collection includes such exhibits as the Concorde supersonic passenger plane, the spy plane Lockheed A-12, NASA space shuttle Enterprise, the submarine USS Growler and others.

Chelsea Piers

The Titanic on its maiden voyage in 1912 was supposed to arrive at Pier 59 (rightmost). In the evening of April 18, 1912 Carpathia with the rescued passengers of the Titanic came to this pier and discharged the lifeboats picked up in the ocean. And after that it moored to Pier 54 to discharge the passengers.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

This is one of the world's largest hanging bridges connecting the districts of New York - Brooklyn and Staten Island. The length of the central span of the bridge is 1.3 km. The bridge was built in 1964 and named after the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, the first European who entered the bay of New York and the Hudson River.

Russian version: http://gelio.livejournal.com/202424.html</enter>