Paley Park on 53rd Street and 5th Avenue
New York City is full of marvels. We have ferris wheels, battleships, and roller coasters. We even have waterfalls, though like every other ‘natural’ occurrence in the city save for parks, they are man-made, even the ones in Central Park and Prospect Park. Often, however, waterfalls of all shapes and sizes throughout the city provide a brief respite from the urban chaos. New York has a handful, some built to look natural in parks, others installed into the walls and lobbies of buildings. In any case, each is a special find among the concrete and iron. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorites:
The NYC High Line. Photo via NYC Parks
Since 2009, people have hailed the High Line as the savior of declining west Chelsea, a neighborhood that is now a burgeoning food and art gallery hub of New York City. Lying fallow for years as an abandoned infrastructural element above Chelsea’s streets and storefronts after being used by freight trains for twenty years, it became an overgrown meadow, an unusual sight in the city, and many talked of demolishing it for good.
Thankfully, efforts by the community and various organizations like the nonprofit Friends of the High Line campaigned for its renovation in the late 1990s. After years of planning and construction, the elevated railroad became an elevated park, attracted millions to its picturesque views, and revitalized the entire neighborhood’s economy and real estate. The High Line is an old-fashioned American success, and though its current form is one of the newest attractions in the city, it still has its fair share of secrets.
Image via radiocity.com
When John D. Rockefeller, Jr., decided to finance the construction of Rockefeller Center in the 1930s, he intended his music hall to be the pinnacle of showbiz. He envisioned lavish stage productions not unlike the wildly successful Ziegfeld Follies of the day. People would come for a spectacle, and nothing less. It’s safe to say that Radio City Music Hall, the Showplace of the Nation as it was once hailed by the papers, has lived up to the hype.
Through years as a concert hall, movie theater, and a venue for awards shows like the Grammys and the Tonys, Radio City was and still is one of the city’s busiest tourist destinations. Its unique Art Deco design, uncommon for a theater of its time, and its iconic neon facade have become a symbol of New York to rival the Empire State Building or Times Square. Furthermore, its synonymity with red carpet celebrity have tied it closely to the engineered magic of showbiz history in its 80 year run. Here are the top 10 secrets we dug up about the place.
Image via guggenheim.org
Few buildings in New York City strike a more iconic silhouette than the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. A concrete spiral and one of famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright‘s most notable creations, the museum sees just as many visitors seeking to appreciate its architecture as it does visitors coming for the art. Built in 1959, the story of its conception and construction married Wright’s avant-garde design instinct with Solomon R. Guggenheim’s taste for art that pushed boundaries. The building, which was renovated in full in 2005, is one of the most popular destinations in the city’s art scene even eighty years after its opening day. Here are the top 10 secrets we found about the place.
Recently we profiled ten pre-war apartment houses in Washington Heights. Now, we cross the Harlem River to the South Bronx to check out ten more pre-war gems and highlight the details in a borough that is often overlooked in terms of architecture.
Similar to Washington Heights, the neighborhoods of the South Bronx went through a development boom when subway lines providing direct service to Manhattan were extended into the borough in the early decades of the twentieth century. As they developed, these neighborhoods were populated by varying strata of the middle class, with much of the new population living in apartment houses.