“A website celebrating urbanity and its elevated perches.” -Kirstin Butler

Elevator View is New York, photographed from elevated perches throughout the city. Tall buildings owe much to the elevator — the engineering advancement that made quick travel beyond a few stories feasible, and directly contributed to the race to build ever-taller buildings in the early 20th century. The “view from the elevator” metaphorically speaking, represents the idea of a broad, expansive view from a perspective high above the din of everyday life. The name “Elevator View” instantly conveys the characteristic shared by all the photographs in this ongoing essay.

I started Elevator View in January 2011, and have published 91 photographs so far at elevatorview.com. You can also follow the project on Twitter @elevatorview where, in addition to tweeting links to my work, I curate and retweet the best elevated photography of New York from other great urban photographers.

#1  Towers Surrounding Grand Central Terminal, 6:00PM

From left to right: 425 Fifth Avenue, 10 East 40th Street, Citigroup Center, 277 Park Avenue, Helmsley Building, MetLife Building (south façade,  east façade),  Lincoln Building  (now known as One Grand Central Place), and  Lefcourt Colonial Building.

Center background:  Heckscher Building

Photographed from the 38th floor of 350 Fifth Avenue (Empire State Building).

#2 Columbus Circle and Central Park West, 6:00PM

Photographed from the 7th floor of 4 Columbus Circle (Steelcase WorkLife Center).

#3 MetLife Tower, New York Life Building, and Statue of Liberty, 5:00PM

Photographed from the 69th floor of 405 Lexington Avenue (Chrysler Building).

#4  515 Park, 650 Madison, and Sherry-Netherland, 7:00PM

The stone-clad 515 Park Avenue stands behind 650 Madison Avenue, which is slightly obscured by the  Sherry-Netherland hotel.

Photographed from the fourth floor of 10 Columbus Circle (Time Warner Center).

#5  GE, MetLife, and 383 Madison Avenue, 3:00PM  

From the northwest, 383 Madison Avenue and the MetLife Building (significant fixtures of the midtown skyline) appear to be small wings on the left and right of the GE Building (30 Rockefeller Plaza). UBS Tower is in the foreground, and the glass walls on top of  30 Rock  enclose  Top of the Rock, the building’s 67th, 69th, and 70th floor observation decks.

Photographed from the 44th floor of Hearst Tower (300 W57th Street).

#6  Balcony, General Electric Building, 7:00PM

This balcony is part of the original General Electric Building at 570 Lexington Avenue. GE occupied this building before moving to 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the iconic tower known today as the GE Building.

Photographed from the 25th floor of 477 Madison Avenue.

#7  Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, Jersey City, and Hoboken, 10:00AM

Clockwise, from lower right: Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, and across the Hudson River: Jersey City and Hoboken.

Photographed from the 40th floor of 7 Times Square (Times Square Tower).

#8  1 World Trade Center, World Financial Center, and 200 West Street, 5:00 PM

Photographed from the 41st floor of  77 Hudson  Street, Jersey City.

#9  The Beresford from 3 Lincoln Center, 8:00PM

Photographed from 3 Lincoln Center.

#10  The Rushmore, Archstone 101 West End from 3 Lincoln Center, 8:30PM

The taller set of towers belong to  The Rushmore, a condominium development on the Upper West Side. The shorter set belong to  Archstone 101 West End, a luxury apartment complex.

Photographed from 3 Lincoln Center.

I hope you enjoy these photos of the city that E.B. White described thusly:

[T]he greatest is the last – the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high-strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from Italy to set up a small grocery store in a slum, or a young girl arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh eyes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company.



  1. Valerie NYC says:

    I love this! Wonderful essay, lovely shots. Won ´t even begin elaborating on favoritism, technical and nuances. It ´s all there up to E.B. White ´s wonderfully heartfelt description. Well done.

  2. Old Skool says:

    Love the shot from the chrysler. 300 mm?

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