6. Manhattan Municipal Building Cupola

In 1893, the city of New York began renting spaces for government offices but it soon became clear that a city-owned building would be a more practical financial option over the long run. Twelve architectural firms submitted designs for the future building and William Kendall, a skilled architect who worked for McKim, Mead and White, was selected to design it.

Built in 1914 and costing an estimated $15 million to construct, the Manhattan Municipal Building was one of New York City’s early skyscrapers. It stands at 25 stories and 580 feet high, making it the fourth tallest in New York City at the time, behind The Woolworth Building, The Met Life Tower and The Singer Building.

A fun fact: the striking building was designed from a rejected sketch of Grand Central Terminal.

During Open House New York, its rarely accessible cupola at the top of the building will also be open, providing 360° views of Lower Manhattan to a select (lucky) few.