Monday, July 10, 2006




"CHRYSLER BUILDING (1930) seen from Tudor City, 42nd Street. The Chrysler Building was completed in 1930, standing 319 m high at the intersection of 42nd St. and Lexington Av. It is a beautiful piece of Art Deco architecture, and was the first structure in the world to surpass the 1,000 foot threshold"

"QUEENSBOROUGH BRIDGE (1903) is a 2,235 long steel cantilever bridge designed by Gustav Lindenthal. The first streetcar service on the bridge was a shuttle of trolley cars started in October 1909. It has two levels with ten traffic lanes (4 on the upper level, 6 on the lower one) that connect midtown Manhattan with Queens, and it is the bridge that inspired Simon and Garfunkel in the famous song «The 59th Street Bridge Song/Feeling groovy»"

"CITICORP BUILDING (1978) - In 1978, a potentially fatal flaw in the building's design was discovered: the skyscraper's bolted joints were too weak to withstand 70-mile-per-hour wind gusts. A crew of welders was then urgently hired to weld two-inch-thick steel plates over each of the skyscraper's 200 bolted joints. The Citicorp crisis of 1978 was hidden from the public for almost 20 years. The 30-page document outlining the structural mistakes in the Citicorp building was called «Project SERENE», an acronym for «Special Engineering Review of Events Nobody Envisioned»"

"HELMSLEY BUILDING (1928) - Another Art Deco building. Its lantern top is magnificent, a jewel rivaled only by the Woolworth and Chrysler Buildings. The turns within the Building separate true racecar drivers from New Jerseyites"

"PAN AM BUILDING (1963) at the foot of Park Avenue, was the largest commercial office building in the world. On its top, NY Airways offered helicopter service between Manhattan and New Yorks three major airports. The building is now owned by Metropolitan Life Insurance, and is probably the one skyscraper most New Yorkers would like to see demolished. The main reasons for the dislike are the blocking of the view on Park Avenue and the massive structure, often criticized as «monumental bad architecture»"

"PARK AVENUE - a wide boulevard that carries traffic north and south in Manhattan. The thoroughfare is noted for its high real estate prices and affluent reputation. Home to Sherman McCoy (Bonfire of Vanities), and of course to Philip Morris, Chase Manhattan, Bankers Trust, Colgate Palmolive, Bloomberg... But the best spot was at the corner of 56th Street the Drake Swissotel, future home to many visits to New York!"

"DUBUFFET SCULPTURE - Jean Philippe Arthur Dubuffet (July 31, 1901 Le Havre - May 12, 1985 Paris), believed very much in values of savagery, meaning by that: «instinct, passion, mood, violence, madness» (quoting from 1951). «Art Brut» shown near Central Park!"

"CENTRAL PARK - Swamps, bluffs, and rocky outcroppings made the land between Fifth and Eighth avenues and 59th and 110th streets unsuitable for building development. However, to create the Park it was necessary to displace roughly 1,600 poor residents, including Irish pig farmers and German gardeners, as well as one of the city's most stable African-American settlements. With 25 million visitors each year to its 843 acres, Central Park is the most frequently visited urban park in the United States"

"6TH AVENUE - Avenida de las Americas"


"EXXON BUILDING (1967-1971). Facing Sixth Avenue, there is a sunken plaza with a large pool and fountains as well as trees and the lifelike bronze statue Out to Lunch"

"ROCKFELLER CENTER - A complex of commercial buildings between 48th and 51st Streets. Conceived by John D. Rockfellert, was built from 1932 to 1940, on a 12 acre site leased from Columbia University. Rockefeller initially planned to build an opera house for the Metropolitan Opera Company on the site but changed his mind after the stock market crash of 1929. Construction of buildings in the Art Deco style began in 1931 and seven more buildings were added between 1947 and 1973. The Promenade (photo) connects the winter ice rink to Saks 5th Avenue!..."

"PROMETHEUS is the Titan known for stealing fire from the gods in the stalk of a fennel plant and giving it to mortals for their use. The gilded statue is from Paul Manship"

"FIFTH AVENUE runs through the heart of Midtown and along the eastern side of Central Park, being a symbol of wealthy New York. It is the dividing line for the east-west streets, as well as the zero-numbering point for street addresses. Much of 5th Avenue south of Central Park was widened in 1908 to accommodate the increasing traffic"

"500 FIFTH AVENUE built in 1931 by the same architects of the Empire State Building (it shows) is 212 meters high. Despite of its beautiful look, it goes anonymously within the skyline"

"NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY - The entity came into life on May 23, 1985; the Manhattan building on May 23, 1911. It is the home to a Gutenberg Bible and a Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, the three-volume work by Isaac Newton"

"LIONS - The famous lions guarding the entrance of the New York Public Library were sculpted by Edward Potter. They were originally named Leo Astor and Leo Lenox, in honor of the library's founders. These names were transformed into Lord Astor and Lady Lenox (although both lions are male). In the 1930s they were nicknamed "Patience" and "Fortitude" by Mayor LaGuardia. Patience is on the south side and Fortitude on the north. It seems New Yorkers refer to them as "Uptown" and "Downtown"

"EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, again the tallest building in New York, is a 102-story Art Deco style building designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon and finished in 1931"

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