New York City is one of the most architecturally intriguing cities in the world. From Beaux-Arts to Art Deco, Gothic to International, the varied architecture styles of the city will pique the interest of any visitor. We designed this 3-day New York architecture tour to dig deeper into the architectural styles of the city. This trip was planned for a Talented and Gifted (TAG) student program.
New York Architecture Tour: Day 1
Start your trip in the afternoon with a tour of the United Nations.
Architecture Notes: The United Nations headquarters were designed by an international team of architects. The main building is called the Secretariat and is one of the first skyscrapers in New York to be in the International Style. The 18 acre plot was donated by John D. Rockefeller Jr. to the United Nations to build the UN’s headquarters. The land officially does not belong to the United States as it is international territory.
Spend time inside the skyscrapers of Fifth Avenue as you browse and shop among the most famous stores in the world.
Dinner is at one of the many delicious restaurants of your choosing.
Take the elevator 67 floors high to the Top of the Rock 3-tiered observation deck for a gorgeous view of the city at night.
Architecture Notes: Rockefeller center was designed in the Art Deco style by Raymond Hood, Wallace K. Harrison, and Max Abramovitz. The complex consists of 14 Indiana-limestone building, including a 70-story tower that was home to Radio Corporation of America (RCA). The vertical thrust of the complex was meant to symbolize humanity’s progress to new frontiers.
Check into your hotel for the evening.
New York Architecture Tour: Day 2
Enjoy a hot breakfast at the hotel before departing for touring.
Take a driving tour of Manhattan, focusing on the following architectural sites:
Guggenheim Museum: The iconic white spiral building of the Guggenheim Museum was designed Frank Lloyd Wright. It was his last completed project before his death in 1959. The building is as unique as the works on display!
- New York Public Library: The New York Public Library is a Beaux-Arts building that extends over two full blocks. It’s built out of Vermont marble.
- Grand Central Station: With large arches flanked by Corinthian columns, the building’s facade is a true Beaux-Arts design. A large sculpture group designed by Jules-Alexis Coutan tops the front entrance. It shows Mercury (the god of commerce) supported by Minerva and Hercules (depicting mental and moral strength).
- Chrysler Building: The Chrysler Building was designed by architect William Van Alen. For a few months, the Chrysler building was the tallest in the world at 77 stories and 1046 feet tall. It was surpassed by the Empire State Building
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral: Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is an example par excellence of the American Gothic Revival style. It was designed by architect James Renwick.
- Central Park
Lunch is at a location of your choice
Spend the afternoon at Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art demonstrates its designer’s , Richard Morris Hunt, mastery of the Beaux-Arts style, This architecture style was popular for civic buildings at the end of the nineteenth century.
Then, it’s off the the Playwright Tavern for a hearty dinner.
This evening, enjoy classic Broadway at its best with a performance of The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre.
Return to your hotel for the evening to rest for day three!
New York Architecture Tour: Day 3
Fuel up for the day with a great breakfast at the hotel.
Tour lower Manhattan. Walk Wall Street and explore Battery Park .
Visit the 9/11 Memorial.
Gaze at the Freedom Tower, soaring above the city at 1,776 feet. America’s tallest building was designed by David M. Childs of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The 3-million-square-foot building includes office space, an observation deck and world-class restaurants.
Then, take a ride in the harbor on the iconic Staten Island Ferry.
Lunch is at a location of your choice.
After, explore Little Italy and Chinatown. Many of the buildings in Chinatown have Asian inspired facades, featuring pagodas and tiled roofs. There are many architecturally interesting buildings in Chinatown including the Mahayana Buddhist Temple.
Many of the buildings in Little Italy are from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and are adorned with ornate cornices.
Once you have had your fill of gelato, it is time to depart for home. We hope that you enjoyed your New York architecture tour!
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