Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #92

92-newtown-high-schoolNewtown High School

Architect: C.B.J. Snyder
Style: Baroque Revival
Use: Education
Opened: 1897
Borough: Queens

Delightfully Germanic in its appearance, this Elmhurst high school’s 3,000 students are as ethnically diverse as the neighborhood itself. And the graduates have become eminent in professions ranging from politics, to high finance, to music, to drama, to athletics.

It Happened Today in New York City

02-18-crazy-for-youOn February 19, 1992, the musical Crazy for You, featuring old standards by George and Ira Gershwin, opened on Broadway. It would go on to run for 1,622 performances, win the Drama Desk Awards for Best Musical and Best Choreography, and later win the Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Choreography, and Best Costume Design.

It Happened Today in New York City

On February 18, 1902, Charles Lewis Tiffany died at the age of 90. The founder of Tiffany & Co. was known as the foremost expert on jewelry and the patriarch of a retail empire whose legacy continues today, featuring the world’s first retail catalogue and an elegant store on Fifth Avenue that has been immortalized in literature, theatre, and cinema.

Quotable NYC

a-02-17-ocean-view-burial-park“Because of the lack of budget, we had to find neighborhoods where time had stopped – kind of stuck in the 50’s. And no place had that better than Staten Island.” — Jason Alexander

Quotable NYC

bim-bw-fulton-fish-market“Every now and then, seeking to rid my mind of thoughts of death and doom, I get up early and go down to the Fulton Fish Market. I usually arrive around five-thirty, and take a walk through the two huge, open fronted market sheds. The smoky riverbank smell, the racket the fishmongers make, the seaweedy smell, and the sight of this plentifulness always give me a feeling of well being, and sometimes they elate me.” — Joseph Mitchell

It Happened Today in New York City

02-15-crosswordOn February 15, 1942, the New York Times published its first Sunday crossword puzzle. The newly inaugurated weekly puzzle page, once considered “a primitive form of mental exercise”, became an instant hit. Eight years later, in September of 1950, the Times crossword became a daily feature.

It Happened Today in New York City

02-14-dickensOn February 14, 1842, the Boz Ball was held at the Park Theatre in honor of the newly arrived visiting author, Charles Dickens. Hailed as a literary hero, Dickens had just embarked on a five-month reading tour of the United States, and New York’s high society turned out in grand fashion to pay him deference.

It Happened Today in New York City

02-13-gramercyOn February 13, 1832, the board of aldermen agreed to grant tax exemption to Gramercy Park. While Gramercy remains New York City’s only private park, gated with access by key, the tax exemption is motivated by the notion that the park’s preservation as a green space without chance for development limits the land’s value. The controversy that has followed is one of the many class-conscious debates to plague the park over the years.

The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #93

93-gilsey-house-hotel-detailGilsey House

Architect: Stephen Decatur Hatch
Style: French Revival
Use: Hotel
Opened: 1872
Borough: Manhattan

This Second Empire wonder is a gem on an otherwise lackluster stretch of Broadway. Once a favorite lodging place for Diamond Jim Brady, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, and others, it is a marvel of cast-iron architecture. Since its heyday as a hotel, it has been converted into apartments.

The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #94

94-grants-tombGrant’s Tomb

Architect: John H. Duncan
Style: Roman Revival
Use: Resting Place
Opened: 1897
Borough: Manhattan

This majestic memorial is the largest mausoleum in North America and was the number one tourist destination in New York until the opening of the Empire State Building. Grand and imposing, it hosts the remains of President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia Dent Grant. However, as they are both above ground, the proper answer to “Who is buried in Grant’s Tomb?” is “No one.”