Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Category Archives: 10 Best List

The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #1

The Chrysler Building Architect: William Van Alen Style: Art Deco Use: Offices Opened: 1930 Borough: Manhattan The most beautiful, majestic, shimmering skyscraper in the city gleams in the sunshine and sparkles at night. Like so many treasures, it was poorly received at first, and Van Alen never had another major commission (much to architecture lovers’ …

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The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #2

The Woolworth Building Architect: Cass Gilbert Style: Gothic Revival Use: Offices Opened: 1913 Borough: Manhattan Dubbed “the Cathedral to Commerce” when it opened, Gilbert’s piece de resistance was the tallest building in the world for 17 years. Encrusted in extraordinarily intricate terra cotta, the 13 million-dollar tower was paid for in cash when five-and-dime store …

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The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #3

Shepard Hall, CCNY Architect: George Browne Post Style: Gothic Revival Use: Education Opened: 1906 Borough: Manhattan The Gothic cathedral style of the crown jewel of City College of New York has earned it a nickname in some quarters: “Hogwarts on the Hudson”. But additionally, it benefits from the starkest contrast of any building in the …

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The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #4

National Museum of Immigration Architect: Boring & Tilton Style: Beaux Arts Use: Museum Opened: 1900 Borough: Other (Ellis Island) Although Boring & Tilton may be the single most unfortunate name for a firm in the history of architecture, their masterpiece of Moorish and Beaux Arts styling is neither. Arguably the single most historically significant spot …

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The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #5

Bryant Park Hotel Architect: Raymond Hood Style: Art Deco Use: Hotel Opened: 1924 Borough: Manhattan Originally built as the American Radiator Building, this 23-story tower was designed to stand out as a massive freestanding monolith. And that it does in flying colors. Those colors, specifically, are black and gold, which are said to represent coal …

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The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #6

Potter Building Architect: Norris G. Starkweather Style: Queen Anne Use: Residential Opened: 1886 Borough: Manhattan Though its steel frame is significant to engineers, the aesthetics of this gem are all about the perfect juxtaposition of brick and matching terra cotta. The shades of red are poetically appropriate for a building whose construction was inspired by …

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The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #7

Grand Central Terminal Architect: Reed & Stern, Warren & Wetmore Style: Beaux Arts Use: Transit/Retail Opened: 1913 Borough: Manhattan Dubbed by the American Institute of Architects “the most beautiful interior in New York that you can see without paying an admission fee”, this transit hub’s interior does indeed dazzle. But its façade deserves its own …

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The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #8

The Dorilton Architect: Janes & Leo Style: Beaux Arts Use: Residential Opened: 1902 Borough: Manhattan The most beautiful residential building in the city benefits from the red brick that contrasts with its white limestone, giving it the edge over its monochromatic neighbors. Like so many of the greatest buildings in any city, this one was …

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The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #9

Alwyn Court Architect: Harde & Short Style: Renaissance Revival Use: Residential Opened: 1907 Borough: Manhattan The most beautiful residential building in Midtown features the most intricate terra-cotta design anywhere, starring the two salamanders that guard the door to the Petrossian restaurant inside (whose lavish Art-Deco décor somehow manages not to clash with the façade). The …

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The Top 100 Greatest NYC Buildings — #10

The New York Life Building Architect: Cass Gilbert Style: Anglo-Italianate Use: Offices Opened: 1928 Borough: Manhattan Modeled on Salisbury Cathedral, this office building rises 40 stories above its full square block from Madison to Park Avenue and from 26th to 27th Street. It replaced another grand palace, the second Madison Square Garden. Though the AIA …

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