Trinity Church circa 1900. Image via Wikimedia Commons
Churches all around the world bear the name ‘Trinity Church.’ The most unusual by far happens to be a small Russian Orthodox Trinity Church made of Siberian pine wood on the tip of King George Island in Antarctica. The most famous, arguably, is Manhattan’s Trinity Church. Once the tallest building in the city, the church, actually three churches of the same name that were built on the same ground, is one of the most well-endowed and recognizable sights in New York City. In another time, it was the first thing sailors and voyagers saw when pulling into New York Harbor. Today, though it is dwarfed by buildings, it holds a place in the Financial District that is closely intertwined with history. Here are 10 of the most enticing secrets we dug up about it.
2 World Trade Center. Image via popularmechanics.com
Danish architect Bjarke Ingels is most notable to New Yorkers these days as the designer of 2 World Trade Center, the final building slated for construction that will overlook the former Ground Zero in the new World Trade Center complex. His body of work, however, is growing in New York City with the Dry Line and the unique residential building in Hell’s Kitchen,VIA 57 West. His firm BIG is one of the hottest in the industry right now, translating the wacky and intricate modern designs Ingels is known for in Europe to the New York stage. There’s also a project, nicknamed “The Tostito” coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park.
In a new interactive and video from The New York Times, Ingels notes how Manhattan has welcomed him since moving a branch of his Copenhagen firm to New York in 2011. Ingel’s redesigned 2 World Trade Center, conceived of as a leaning stack of sharp-edged boxes, with outdoor terraces on the 80th floor and above, should be one of the more interesting sights in the Financial District, along with being the fifth tallest building in New York City. An interactive 360-view of the planned building can be seen here.
The New York Subway system opened to the public for the first time on October 27th, 1904 and changed the face of mass transit in the city forever. Today, it takes no less than 40 minutes to travel up Manhattan from South Ferry to Washington Heights two hundred blocks away (that is, if you take the right train), a journey that would would normally be five times as long on foot.
It’s a 24-hour system that ferries you and millions of New Yorkers around the city every day, but you may be unaware of the technology behind it. Did you know one of the main subway traffic controllers is housed in the West 4th Street station? Did you know that much of the machinery used to monitor the trains dates back to the 1950s and earlier? In an exclusive video exploring the antiquated system behind subway control, the MTA showcases its very old, very outdated, but still effective technology, and looks to the future of the subway commute with a brand new method of monitoring traffic. That method is called communications-based train control, and, once implemented in trains all over the city, will finally modernize the subway.
All images via Nobutaka Aozaki
Back in 2012, a Japanese conceptual artist by the name of Nobutaka Aozaki started walking around New York City wearing a blue ‘New York’ baseball cap and toting a plastic bag from Century 21. Though not a tourist himself, he posed as one and approached real tourists in the street, asking them for directions to a well-known city attraction, landmark, or building. When they would offer to show him the way on their phones, he’d refuse, saying he would remember better if they drew a little map for him on pieces of paper he provided. Most tourists, unlike busy New Yorkers with little words and even less patience, obliged.
From their drawings sprung ‘From Here to There,’ a ‘map’ of Manhattan made entirely of hand-drawn pointers to famous landmarks and buildings.
Views of the Hudson River from Washington Heights. Image via airbnb
A strange mix of Patriot and Tory still exists in Washington Heights, where American troops fell to British forces in 1776. The Battle of Fort Washington took place in the area on November 16, 1776, where the cliffs at the northern end of the island offer sweeping views of the Hudson River. This commanding position made the spot a key military point during the American Revolution.