Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #100

Everyone who comes to New York has a “must-see list” of favorite buildings. Every guide who tours the city has favorite buildings he/she likes to show. The unmistakable skyline of New York is dotted with individual masterpieces of architecture, engineering, and design. Our second great 10X10 list is devoted to favorite buildings in the city.

Like last year’s list of great New Yorkers, this list will take a full year to complete and will be highly controversial among our readers, many of whom will have strong opinions of their own, including the legitimacy of certain styles, architects, and the final order of selection. We have, as always, struggled with the decision-making, working hard to include all five boroughs and make sure a variety of styles are represented, including Anglo-Italianate, Art-Deco, Baroque Revival, Beaux Arts, French Revival, Gothic Revival, Modern, Moorish, Neo-Tudor, Queen Anne, Renaissance Revival, Roman Revival, Romanesque, Villa, and more.

Though the list is admittedly Manhattan-heavy, there is one building representing the harbor islands, four in Queens, six in the Bronx, six in Staten Island, and nine in Brooklyn.

More than before, we have deferred to our own personal taste in this list, concentrating less on a building’s historic significance and more on whether looking at it prompts a simple response of “I like it.” And we have tried to concentrate only on a building’s aesthetic appearance, without regard to its use. The Majestic Theatre, for instance, did not make the list, even though we are great fans of many of the shows that have played there.

As always, there were some painful omissions: The Morgan Library, Red House, Kenilworth Apartments, Lycee Francaise, the Crown Building, the Art Students League, the Peninsula Hotel, the Apthorp, the Bank of New York, and the Sofia Apartments are only a few of the breathtaking buildings of the Big Apple that missed a place on this list.

Any one of you could easily make a list including the 10 buildings above, and many more besides, and we wouldn’t put up much of an argument. However, for our purposes, we hereby begin our second top 100 list. As always, we start at the end and work our way up to number one, revealing one selection per day.

100-iac-buildingIAC Building

Architect: Frank Gehry
Style: Modern
Use: Offices
Opened: 2007
Borough: Manhattan

The elegant upsweep of frosted glass on this building is designed to evoke the sails of tall ships, respecting the nautical history of the building’s immediate neighbor, Chelsea Piers. Not as over-the-top as many of Gehry’s designs, this was his first building in New York City.

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3 Comments

  1. Ibrahima

    I love that building, a sailing ship on the Hudson.

  2. Also kind of looks like an Iceberg

  3. Well this list has definitely caught my interest. I’m intrigued by how the list seems to be handicapped by removing so many iconic structures right off the bat.
    As for Gehry’s IAC building, well I’ll just say that it has grown on me over the years as my knowledge of architecture has increased.
    I once posted a picture of it and described it as the ugliest building in New York. That was a naive assessment by an uneducated individual… and I firmly believe that such an assessment should count for something.

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