SKYSCRAPERS IN NEW YORK CITY
With its scyscrapers, New York is a sight in itself for visitors interested in architecture. No other city in the world has it like it, from the Beaux Arts buildings to the ultra-modern. After September 11, 2001, the Empire State Building wasthe tallest skyscraper in the city. In November 2014, the One World Trade Center with its 541.3 meters height was opened for the first tenants and replaced the Empire State Building as the tallest building in the city.
Hearst Magazine Tower
The first “green” office building in New York’s architectural history is the building complex designed by British star architect Sir Norman Forster on 8th Avenue with a height of 182 m and 42 floors, which was commissioned in April 2006. The Hearst Magazine Tower (959, 8th Avenue) consists of more than 85 percent of the recycled steel from the previous building and, thanks to a sophisticated steel structure, uses 20 percent less steel than conventional skyscrapers. Rainwater is collected in tanks and used for air conditioning. The 6 storey high entrance hall is cooled by a waterfall. A coated special glass on the facade keeps the summer heat away. Motion detectors in the office ensure that lighting and computers are automatically switched off when nobody is in the room.
Walter Chrysler, one of the most important automobile pioneers of his time, commissioned the architect William van Alens to build the tallest building in the world in 1928. The exact height was kept a secret during the planning phase, it was only rumored that it would be higher than the tallest structure at the time – the tower of the same name in Paris built by Gustaf Eiffel.
Chrysler competed with the builder of the Empire State Building in those boom timesand the Bank of Manhattan around this goal, which were also raising their skyscrapers at the same time. But Chrysler wanted more than ‘just’ altitude. Since he was very wealthy, the design of the building named after him should also be different from all others. For this reason, an additional hood in light-reflecting stainless steel veneer in Art Deco style was placed on top. The ornaments on this hood are based on Chrysler automobiles. The staggered arches are modeled in the form of car wheel caps, the protrusions are made with winged radiator hoods, with wheels and stylized cars from the Chrysler brand. The gargoyles resemble the hood ornament of a Plymouth.
The top of the building was also kept secret to the last and kept hidden inside the building. His dream of the tallest building in the world came true when it was completed in 1930, if only for a short time. With 76 floors spread over 319 meters, the Chrysler Building trumped the Eiffel Tower by a full 62 ft (18.90 m) and the Bank of Manhattan, which was built in downtown, by 42 ft (12.80 m). When the Empire State Building was completed a year later, there was a taller building. Today the Chrysler Building is used exclusively as an office and administration building. The marble and granite lobby can be visited. There is no viewing platform like the one in the Empire State Building, but a visit is still worthwhile.
LITTLE ITALY – THE ITALIAN DISTRICT
Little Italy is east of SoHo (South of Houston Street) bounded by Canal, Houston (pronounced: Haustän) and Lafayette Street and the Bowery. These original boundaries are fluid, however: the quarter is getting smaller and smaller, as the “natives”, who once came from southern Italy and Sicily in particular, are gradually disappearing and the younger Italian-Italians prefer to settle in New Jersey and other suburbs.
The neighboring Chinatown is expanding more and more. The original living conditions here were poor. The immigrants from Italy built roads and the city’s sewers, the women worked in the textile industry. Housing conditions were tough: up to 40,000 people already lived in the 27 houses on Mulberry Street. There was no public bath, no playground, the hygienic conditions were considered catastrophic. The quarter is popular today for its restaurants, cafes, bakeries and delicatessens, the past is no longer recognizable. Even if hardly any Italians live here, restaurants and shops have an Italian character.
Gastronomy also has Italian influences
The Sicilian cuisine is particularly well represented here, which places more value on quantity than quality (generous pasta portions with strong tomato sauces). The prices are considered Italian, but not necessarily the food on offer. The grocery stores offer a wide variety of salami, fresh pasta, cheese and other Italian delicacies. Even if the Italo-Italians of the suburbs do not want to move back here under any circumstances, they remain connected to the district and return to their “roots”, especially on special occasions. On festive days they flock to Little Italy by the thousands with their children. In September a saint who comes from Naples is celebrated here for a week: San Gennaro, Bishop Gennaro of Benevento, who was beheaded in 304 for his faith.
The following locations are also to be visited:
- NYC Police Headquarters (240 Center Street): The former police headquarters in French neo-renaissance style was converted into an apartment building in 1988 by the architects Ehrenkranz Group & Eckstut, it takes up the entire block between Grand / Center / Broome Street and Center Market Place.
- Green Point Bank (130 Bowery): For decades, the Bowery was synonymous with social decline, home to alcoholism, bums, bars and cheap relegation. The grand building of the bank stands out from the development, and the counter hall is particularly impressive.
- Old Saint Patrick`s Cathedral (260 – 264 Mulberry Street): It is the predecessor of the cathedral on Fifth Avenue and was built in neo-Gothic style without being really imposing. Inside, cast iron pillars support a wooden ceiling.
WALL STREET – SMALL STREET WITH GREAT POWER
Wall street. Anyone who is even a tiny bit interested in money, stocks, politics or finance will listen up to this name.
The two words don’t just stand for any street anywhere in the United States. Wall Street is the heart of the international financial world and, by the way, the seat of the New York Stock Exchange, the largest and most important stock exchange in the world. While the physical Wall Street in New York is only one kilometer long, Wall Street can, figuratively, make or shake the whole world. Because the comparatively harmless street name is also a synonym for the US financial industry as a whole. Depending on whether the bulls or the bears rule the stock market, this can have a more than lasting impact on the economy across the globe.
In the beginning there was Peter Stuyvesant – but that doesn’t mean the cigarette
Of course, when the Dutch decided in 1647 to ensure a little more security and order in one of their colonies in the New World, there was no mention of America or a US financial industry. “New Amsterdam”, as New York was called back then, was supposed to come before the Indian raidswho, as natives of the country, understandably did not always agree with the new masters from overseas. Peter Stuyvesant was then the Dutch governor of what would later become Manhattan and was assigned this task. So he had a wall built up and thus actually kept the redskins in check. Later a street was built along the wall, which was consequently called “Wall Street”. The name stayed with the Dutch when the Dutch later left the small, in their opinion insignificant, piece of land to the English. It is quite possible that one or the other later regretted it!
Wall Street – in every way and always right in the middle of the action
Today every self-respecting bank has an office on Wall Street. Even on days when neither the financial institutions nor the stock market are open, Wall Street is teeming with visitors. Then the little street of great importance belongs entirely to the tourists who prefer to pose in front of the stock exchange. But the large sculpture of a bull that is very close to the stock exchange building is also a popular photo opportunity. For stockbrokers, the bull symbolizes rising prices. His opponent, the bear, stands for falling prices. You won’t find such a statue on Wall Street.
Wall Street is just a few minutes’ walk from One World Trade Center, which includes the large memorial commemorating the victims of the September 11th terrorist attack. In the meantime, visitors can take a glass elevator to the observation deck of the One World Trade Center and enjoy a truly breathtaking view of Manhattan and of course Wall Street from there. If you go in the other direction from Wall Street, you can also be in just a few minutes at the jetties from which the ships to the Statue of Liberty leave.