Our trip throughout downtown felt like a revival of Greek architecture through and through. With this being evident throughout wall st. you can sense the presence of power and commerce throughout the area. All of the people who had traveled throughout the area where hustling and focused on getting to there destination. With the use of Columns and pediments evident throughout most of the government buildings, showed that they were solely created for a sense of uniformity and power over the community below them.the when closely observing the detailing in the structures it quite a shame not see this sense of craftsmanship not found in contemporary architecture anymore. it all creates a sense of elegance and beauty that is lost in our current day and age. All of the buildings when closely analyzed look as if they found an agreement of how you can meld together harsh straight lines that are found in the pediments and columns while subtly still using curves within the details and crowns of these structures. its also pretty funny when you realize that these massive beautiful staircases were made for people to feel as if they were rising up into these beautiful buildings yet no one climbs them to appreciate their subtle yet glorified beauty.
By 1900, there was more than 80,000 tenements had been built in New York City. The tenements housed in the area of 2.3 million people, a full two-thirds of the city’s total population of around 3.4 million.
Interesting details of the tenement buildings is that it often had 5 to 7 stories and occupied nearly all of the lot of which it was built. Many tenements began as single-family dwellings, and many older structures were converted into tenements by adding floors on top or by building more space in rear-yard areas. There was often built with less than of a foot of space between buildings, causing for little air and light could get in. In many tenements only the rooms on the street got light, and the interior room had no ventilation. Tenement houses were a quick and affordable solution to the housing problem. As tenement houses were quickly constructed, as many people as possible were packed into the smallest space possible in the hopes of maximizing the landlord’s profits
Erie Canal was essential to the growth of America. It opened opportunities in America of increasing trade, commerce and settlement. The canal was also used a place where social reform like abolitionism, women’s rights and various other movements flourished in the canal passageway.
The canal influenced New York City because it helped increase trade. The influx of people traveling upstate opened new markets and easier ways to get there and back, it also helped increase the physical growth of cities along the canal route. New York City being closer to Europe became the gateway to resources of the Midwest. Empowering NYC through its ability to transport and exchange goods it became the financial capital of the nation.
The Midtown East tour was an exciting tour of being able to able experience a wide range of significant style of buildings in such a small condensed area. We saw beautiful Art Deco buildings, Moorish Revival, and glass curtain systems among many other styles. One highlight in particular of the trip was the New York Public Library. The design is Beaux Art and it features white marble façade. The front of the Library is has wide steps that are designed that embrace the crowd of tourist and visitors without making the crowd feeling uncomfortable. History feels to be represented everywhere you see in this building. One interesting fact about the library is that is has more than 84 miles of stacks and its able to store 3.2 million books and it’s all built under Bryant Park.
Another captivating building on the tour was the Seagram Building, Ludwig Mies der Rohe. His belief of “less is more” is apparent in the Seagram Building. The Seagram’s building highlights parts of the building that before the date it was built were camouflaged instead of celebrated. It has a bronze exterior façade that features a non-structural bronze I-beams – visually suggesting the building’s structure however it is completely nonfunctional.
As Lankevich describes the history and the bad reputation that New York had, many readers may feel that New York isn’t really a good place. This actually can be said about all places throughout the modern world. New York had more than 8 million people by the year of 2000 and this was the most the state ever had, with more than 40 percent of its people being foreign born. But many see this city to be in crisis and turmoil. Although we have a disaster going on with our schools and everyday challenges with the transit system, New York City is still one of the most profound cities in the world. It has more than 40 percent of all skyscrapers in the world, the financial and corporate district is still well off, and its people will tell you that they cannot live anywhere else in the world.
During the late 1900’s, Koch was able to see a lot of issues that were faced by New York City’s officials and the communities in general. It was actually interesting that he was able to keep his position for a third term with 78 percent of votes after two terms that did not go all that well. After Donald Manes was found wounded in 1986 in a car, investigation eventually recealed that there was a vast ocean of bribery and influence that was called by Lankevich, a “municipal marketplace”. Many municipals were caught in these types of illegal acts and they all had some sort of close ties with Koch, which gave Koch something to concern about. But as time went on, Koch gave an apology on behalf of the municipals, which were his friends and he was forced to explain why the people he personally selected were in jail, after he boasted about having a perfect two term run without any scandals.
When crack cocaine became popular in the New York City streets, the effects of it were seen right away. Many city streets became a place of crime and this caused much fear to the people. People of every skin color began leaving the crime filled areas and poverty was now above 25 percent. Even the subject of AIDS began a big problem. What was once a minor issue emerged into a full blown plague. Koch eventually tried to take care of such things through creating budgets for it. For example, the “best budget”, was a $22.7 billion presentation to address such issues. Lankavich basically informed readers about New York’s hardships to introduce its firmness to excel as a city.
This trip through Midtown Manhattan was a better experience than Downtown Manhattan; to me at least. This tour was about the international style. The international style is probably my favorite style of architecture. It’s the most modern. The buildings are simple and elegant; tall and slender. As Mies Van de Rohe says, “Less is more.”
I was excited to see Mies Van de Rohe’s building, the Seagram building. It was beautiful; the simple black box with bronze tracings for the curtain wall. It was said that he wanted the skeleton of his building to be exposed as a façade. I’m proud to say that I actually got to see it for myself and feel it as well. I love how the bronze and black go together. I also loved how the building was standing on pilitis like Le Corbusier’s buildings. The pilitis is one of Corbusier’s five points. The pilitis gave the building a beautiful plaza entrance.
Not only did Mies Van de Rohe’s building showed Corbusier’s five points, but the ones surrounding it did too; with its roof gardens, free plan and pilitis too. Corbusier was a great influence in today’s modern architecture.
Across the street from Mies Van de Rohe’s Seagram building, was the first curtain wall building ever. It, too was held up on pilitis. Seeing the first curtain wall building amazed me to imagine how everyone at the time it was built, felt looking at it; watching a fully glassed building go up. It was a simple elegant building. After that building went up, a whole lot more like it went up as well.
Walking on the tour I saw all types of colors of curtain wall, even down to the color pink. I saw white building with pink glazed curtain wall. Apart from the different colors, they also had different shapes as well. There was this one building with a geometric shaped glass façade. It was an odd shape but still fit well with the rest of the buildings. I believe the shape was due to the FAR conditions.
Our very first exciting New York City Architecture attraction from the Lower Manhattan walking tour was the National Museum of the American Indian, the George Gustav Heye center, situated within the U.S. Customs House. Located on the south side of Bowling Green adjacent to the Battery Park, the Museum had been a hot spot of the tourists as well as the multi cultural New York City where they explore the diversity of the Native people of the Americas.
Surrounded by modern International styled buildings, Museum of the American Indian stands out as a giant Greek Revival style building. Decorated in massive Corenthian styled columns, the deep steps at the entrance , the stoned detailed decorations have caught my sight. The exterior of the Museum is competitive to its interior as well. The oval shaped intreior roof was stunning as it was heavly decorated at it’s Best! The interior details of the Museum belongs to Beax-styled architecture. In my opinion it is well worth to visit the Museum to see the Architectural details of the Historic Customs House that houses the collection. Morever, Battery Park, Financial District, Trinity Church, St.Paul’s church etc. happens to be Museum nearby attractions.
Taking the walking tour down Downtown Manhattan was quite an experience. As a child walking through the streets of any part of Manhattan wasn’t interesting to me as it was that day. Studying what we do now changes how we look at our environment. Now every building catches my eyes, whether it’s a simple box building. It makes me wonder what its original form used to look like. We’ve learned that many buildings that are still standing today aren’t in its original forms. They’ve all had some change to it. For example, many of the buildings had many ornaments hanging on its façade, but now they are little to none left on the façade. No one can really notice it, but if you look closely, you can.
Seeing many types of buildings in Downtown Manhattan was interesting to me; seeing our slideshows from class come to life. We even visited a church. We walked in and got the experience of the interior of the beautiful structure. Sometimes actually visiting the building rather than looking at photos gives you a different understanding of the building. You sometimes can’t get the experience from a simple photo as you would in person. It is always better to go in person so you can see things you’ve missed in the photos.
We visited the Trinity Church, the Federal Hall Memorial, the Bank of New York, the Indian Museum and etc. all of which are very decorative buildings. The facades including interior, (the ones we went inside of). Mostly every building had columns, which I found interesting. Getting the feeling of old architecture and how it still exists; gothic revival, neo classic, greek, etc. It was quite an experience for me, to appreciate the building structures as a New Yorker, knowing that this city is mine. It shows me that architecture is everywhere and everything.
The construction of the Erie Canal is when it all started. The Erie Canal was completed in 1825. With the Erie Canal being opened it, it led to rapid improvement of transportation which moved people and goods. It opened the world up to the Industrial Revolution. New York City was now going into a time of massive economic and industrial growth. (1860’s) They now had international trade, transportation, labor supply, etc. Technology just kept growing and growing. They even came across their first banking system in 1861. They had their first stocks, checks and money loans for the first time.
As the economy and industrial grew, so did the people. The population of New York City kept increasing by the year. It was now known as the city of tourists. The land along with population was also growing. Manhattan’s first public park, Central Park opened up in 1859.
Apart from using the Erie Canal as transportation, New York City now had public train stations. Everyone now traveled with subway trains; it was more efficient and quicker. Unlike today, each subway line was owned by its own company. The train lines were all separate, but now today most of it is owned by the MTA.
To earn profit in New York, they had to get cheap labor. Women worked long hours for no kind of money. They made at least thirty cents a day for a fifteen hour shift. Unlike today, they did not get paid for overtime or get benefits.
Overall, New York City has changed a lot. Manhattan was no longer covered in wetlands. Every corner you look, or any direction rather, you would see a tall sky scrapper. Buildings are covered on every block. The technology increased drastically. Everywhere you look, there’s technology. That’s what makes New York City the “City of Tourists.”