Manhattan II Classic Harbor Line Untapped Cities AFineLyne

Over the past few years, we’ve been on several Classic Harbor Line including the Freshkills Park Tour, Circumnavigate Manhattan Architectural and Historical Tour and the Roaring 20s Architectural Boat Cruise, all in partnership with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York. Last week, we hit the water on the maiden voyage of their new yacht, Manhattan II.

As with their other three vessels, their new yacht, Manhattan II has a 1920s inspired design, but is quite a bit larger – stretching 100 feet in length, with a beam of 22 feet.  It is just as masterfully crafted, with teak decks and mahogany finishes, and is large enough to allow you to either stay indoors in air conditioned comfort, or enjoy the view from an outside forward deck. To the sound of Miles Davis streaming from the indoor/outdoor sound-system, we chose the latter as we left Chelsea Piers.


The architect who designed Lever House and Manhattan House, two of New York’s most highly regarded mid-twentieth century buildings, also designed the lesser-known Sedgwick Houses, a public housing project in the Bronx. The Sedgwick Houses development is also an example of innovative Modernist architecture, but as with Lever House and Manhattan House, it proved difficult to replicate successfully.

Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore Owings & Merrill designed Lever House, at 390 Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, one of New York’s first International Style glass curtain wall “slab” office buildings with a public plaza. It was completed in 1952 and is credited with being one of the key catalysts for ushering in a new era of commercial architecture.


Women's National Republican Club-Rockefeller Center-Midtown-Andrew Carnegie-NYC-2View of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Rockefeller Center elevated gardes from the balcony of the Women’s National Republic Club. Photo by Corey William Schneider.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the landmarks of Midtown Manhattan. Its Neo-Gothic aesthetic contrasts starkly with the Art Deco Rockefeller Center, thereby ensuring that no one walking on Fifth Avenue will miss its grandeur. The main part of the Cathedral was completed in 1878 and designed by architect James Renwick. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which served as the sear of the Archdiocese of New York, has recently undergone a thorough renovation and appears to be sparkling like new. The next time you find yourself in Midtown, stop by St. Patrick’s and be impressed by these 10 facts about one of the City’s most famous Cathedrals.

Storefront for Art and Architecture at 97 Kenmare Street

Even if you haven’t been to an exhibit at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in Nolita, you’ll recognize its unique deconstructed facade of windows that open and close. Some visitors don’t even know which opening is the official front door and people have been known to climb in through the windows, Storefront tells us. Founded in 1982 and dedicated to presenting innovative and provocative work at the intersection of art and architecture, the Storefront for Art and Architecture has an impressive archival collection of material that includes original artwork and wild conceptual designs, from some of today’s leading architects like Diller + Scofidio, Steven Holl and Lebbeus Woods.

Led by curator Chialin Chou, who began work on the archives two years ago, the Storefront for Art and Architecture archives will officially open next Thursday in Industry City. We’re excited to offer this sneak peek of the space as well as announce an new partnership with Storefront to show readers materials from the archive, as a new primary source for our column The New York City That Never Was.


D. T. Valentine's Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York Plan of the City of New York-Made and Swamp LandMap via Boston Public Library

Back it the early days of New York, Manhattan was narrower, swampy and full of things called slips, narrow slivers of harbor left for boats as landfill extended the coastline. This map from D. T. Valentine’s Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York, currently on display at the Boston Public Library’s American Revolution exhibition We Are One: Mapping the Road from Revolution to Independence, maps the “made and swampland” of New York City and a bit of Brooklyn (then Long Island) in 1856.


Grand Central Terminal Armchairs-Wing Chairs-Love Seats-Fiberglass-NYC

As part of the renovation of Grand Central Terminal, red and green armchairs were placed in the dining concourse in 1998, modeled after the luxury wingchairs on the 20th-Century Limited Trains. The insignia on the chairs were the original logo of the terminal, in which Cornelius Vanderbilt placed a secret reference. As reported by The New York Times, the letters GCT in the symbol are formed such that when upside, the T becomes an anchor–an homage to Vanderbilt’s start in the ferry and shipping business.