Starting from the mid twentieth century to present day New York City has been introduced to early modernist counterparts. Modernism turned its back to the styles that existed up until its day. Modernism then and today is not considered historical.

One of the building’s associated with modernism is the Solomon Guggenheim Museum, built from 1942 to 1959, architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The Solomon Guggenheim Museum is one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century. Modern buildings emphasize on their efficiency and functionality.
While researching I found a helpful link that can answer almost any question on the Guggenheim Museum. It even explains the architects motives on why he wanted the building built in such a way.

According to the video, “Frank Lloyd Wright Solomon Guggenheim Museum New York 1942-1959,” Frank Lloyd Wright meant to leave an unforgettable mark as one of his last designs. Frank Lloyd Wright was always interested in geometrical works, and this museum emphasizes the geometry he wanted to use. The spirals emphasized on their function by using them as ramps to go up and down the building.

The building itself had trouble in construction due to World War II and the decline in economy. Another problem was that a lot of work needed to be done to figure put how a spiral building can be built.

I found all the information in this video interesting because not only does it explain the coming of the Guggenheim Museum in NYC, but it actually describes how modernism is characterized as. Watching this video helps visualize what modernism is and how it breaks from the traditional styles that once existed. The Solomon Guggenheim Museum is one of the most important examples of modernism. To better understand the style I suggest for every one to watch it because it is about eight minutes long and describes a whole lot of information.


Solomon Guggenheim Museum F.L.Wright

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National Memorial, Federal Hall

My dream was to always visit Washington D.C. I always wanted to visit the white house. The style of the white house simply amazed me I’m intrigued by the color white and the beautiful colossal columns. Any building that has those beautiful columns never fails to capture my attention or even have me look in awe.

On our various walking tours I’ve seen many buildings but my favorite one was the National memorial Federal Hall. Not only was it the closest thing I would ever get to the white house but it was also beautiful. The white color, the texture of the columns, and even the columns themselves. When I was standing in front of that building I felt like I was apart of the history. In that very place many years ago George Washington took the Oath of office. I was standing where our first president once stood.

At first I didnt know that I was able to go inside but I found out that I was and I went inside. I was already in love with the outside but I fell in love with the inside even more. The artifacts that are inside were amazing. Everything was preserved and there for me to see including the declaration of Independence.

Some people like buildings because they are pretty or look nice but for me this building was a time machine into history. It’s a historical building with an interesting history. I was able to be in a place that back in the 1700s was the most important place in America and for that alone this was defiantly my favorite building.  My favorite part about it is that it doesn’t fit in with the modern buildings of New York. You don’t see alot of buildings with that certain style still standing today. As much as it doesn’t belong in a city full of sky scrapers in a weird way its location is perfect and it blends into the big city in its own unique way.

This photograph shows the wall street bombing in 1920 and in the background is the Federal Hall memorial.     

This photograph is taken inside the Memorial, the amount of detailing in the ceiling and columns is really breath taking. It is absolutely beautiful


The current National Memorial

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Things I never Knew about the Brooklyn Bridge

In the two videos below I learned more about the Brooklyn Bridge than I ever did in any history class. In both videos you are able to really appreciate the coming about of the Brooklyn Bridge and how magnificent it truly is. Driving across it I never wondered about the history of it I didn’t even know it had a history. The thing that really caught my attention was the fact that a women supervised this bridge being built because her husband was really ill and had to simply watch what was going on through binoculars. For anyone that lives in Brooklyn or even anywhere in NY should defiantly watch these two videos there are a lot of interesting facts in there that you probably never knew about.



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5th Avenue in the 1920s

Ever wonder what it was like living in Manhattan during the 1920s? How people dressed ? How the buildings looked, how people got from one area to the other ? Did you ever want to see how life was like back then ? Well in this video those questions are easily answered. Although there is no sound in this video but after i watched it, I received a better understanding of how 5th avenue in Manhattan looked like. It amazed me how everything was much different than it is now. I recommend you to watch this video its like watching an old film except this time your able to see the NY city that you walk through almost everyday. Its not fiction but its reality.

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Deconstructing NYC History

The History magazine and the website serves to New Yorker’s as well as everyone else as a historical information guide of NYC. History is a source students should try to be familiar with for research and general knowledge, mostly for those who want to learn more about NYC’s architecture. Architecture isn’t just design but also a tribute to history to how New York City formed as a home to more than eight million people, leaving landmarks to cherish.

History’s website provides a variety of videos that inform us on the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth century structures or locations and their history. Some of the structures they provide information on is Wall Street, Park Avenue, Federal Hall, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

The videos are short and simple and are about two to four minutes long. Within two minutes you are able to find out a lot of information about certain things that you probably never questioned or have questioned. For instance, every time I have went to the Grand Central Terminal I looked up at the ceiling and admired it. I never really thought about why the ceiling is a light blue color with constellations, I just assumed it was something from the Greeks. From watching “Deconstructing History: Grand Central Terminal,” I learned that it was first called the Grand Central Depot and the ceiling inside represents the Mediterranean sky; the October to March zodiac with a total of 2,500 stars.

Also in 1998, restoration began for a 12 year period to remove “decades of tar and nicotine from tobacco smoke.” An interesting fact is that one small dark patch still exists even after restoration. The next time I go to Grand Central Terminal, I will try find that dark patch on the ceiling if I can.

The videos that I have watched on this website have taught me a little more on the places that I have visited during tours and on my own experience. I feel that it gives a great visual and textual summary of those historical landmarks. It has also broadened my research skills and taught me more ways of being observative. These videos are very brief and informational, providing all the essential information you should know about. It’s a great website to go to for information on the select structures and locations just before a walking tour to them.

I suggest everyone to check out at least every video in the list on topics or locations we have visited during class as an overall summary.

Deconstructing History : Direct Link

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“Manhatta” Before It All

Before learning about New York City architecture we should really get to know about our cities’ origin. Picturing the city before it became well developed should be an important factor in the way we view our surroundings. Eric Sanderson’s talk of “New York — before the City,” best portrays this idea.

Eric Sanderson’s talk on the development of Manhattan’s landscape ecology is an essential core that students should view when they start to learn about the city and it’s architecture. This video shows almost everything on how the land of Manhattan changed throughout a course of years. Sanderson gives an interesting speech on his theory of where exactly species of early NYC and the Native American’s, the first settlers of this country, resided. According to his talk the city not only was partially made up of landfill but also consisted of wetlands. Its surprising to know that famous Time Square was a wetland; which was the main source of fresh water for the early habitats of NYC.

Sanderson reveals many facts about Manhattan from his study called “Manhatta.” After a long time of research, when I came across this video, I thought it was the best thing students should see when they are introduced to a history of NYC architecture. Upon coming across a map made by the the British military during the American Revolution, Sanderson was able to slowly strip each layer of Manhattan to its original form. From the grid system of manhattan to slow developments and then to just one forest land. It gives an overview of how the land was once a forest full of wetlands, then shortly after Dutch settlements, it became a civilization.

There was one really important fact I learned from this video is that habitat plays a great role in any kind of construction. Habitats consist of: food, water, reproductive sources, and most importantly shelter.

After seeing this video, I was better able to understand Manhattan’s development along with the verbal lectures in class.

I suggest watching the first ten minutes of this video to get the grasp of what’s most important. However, the entire video is very interesting in terms of gaining knowledge.

Eric Sanderson pictures New York — before the City

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Digital NYC

NYC Media

NYC Media

 NYC Media, is part of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, is the official TV, radio and online network of New York City, informing, educating and entertaining New Yorkers about the City’s diverse people and neighborhoods, government, services, attractions and activities. NYC Media is a really good source of information about New York City especially in architecture. Using NYC media you would find any question you may have about the history of New York architecture, from the beginning of its early buildings.

This is a very useful site to find out anything about NYC architecture, but the best part is that it has videos which are not longer than a minute or so. It gives you very briefly answers to the question people regularly ask in the New York City Historical Society.

While I was looking into this website I found very interesting videos like; when did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green? Do any parks in New York City come close to Central Park, in term of acreage? How was the Holland Tunnel Built? And many other you might like to watch.


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Empire State Building

New York Building

The New York building that I would like to write about is the empire state building. This is building one the images that come to mind when you think of New York. Located in mid-town Manhattan it became like the heart of New York. One of the most assonating things of its history was how fast it was built. It being in competition with the Chrysler Building (another wonderful building) for being the tallest building at its time, the Empire State Building was erected in just thirteen months.

It stands tall with 102 stories, its height is 1250 feet high, and it was the tallest building in New York for 40 years. It was until the World Trade Center or the Twin Towers were built. This building has its own history from suicides to an airplane crashing into it but it still remains a major symbol for the state. The style comes from the Art Deco style which was being used often at the time. Another great thing about this building is that its energy efficient. Built in 1931, this building has being modified to be LEED certified. LEED is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and the Empire State Building is part of this green building development.

I have visited this building as a child and I could remember looking up from the street and could wait to get to the top. I looked over the wall to the street and could see the entire Manhattan Island from all four sides. This view is something everyone should see especially if you live here in the state. I went back now as an adult and still think the view is great, it’s a shame to not this when it’s right here in our city.


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Digital New York

Digital New York

New York City is a well-known city all over the world, the Big Apple, the city of skyscrapers, the city that never sleeps, our concrete jungle. Its said that if you come to new York and you make it in life, in this fast paced life style you can make it anywhere. How right this is. If it wasn’t for that competitive, always wanting to be ahead of everyone attitude maybe New York would not have been the way it is now. To find that original life style New York has gone through different ways of designing buildings. I found a video that shows manhattan pictures in the 1900s, I also found a video that shows the transition of New York past and present. Hope you all enjoy.

If links have advertisement I apologies and please skip.

New York City : In The Good Old Days 1900 -1940 (pictures)


New York transition: Movie Clip


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Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is an important icon to New York City. This documentary talks a little about the history and the materials used to construct this monument. The only way to get across was through ferry so they decided to construct the first bridge in NYC.  It took 14 years to build from 1867 through 1883. The architects were John A. Washington and Emily Roebling.  In a time where women didn’t work or go to school, Emily really stepped up and took over every day running.  Men respected and took orders from her.

Since the bridge moves, it has expansion joints so it can expand during the summer and contract in the cold of the winter. They compare the bridges movement to its breathing, as if it was alive.  The bridge is supported by 15 3/4 inch cables with 5,434 steel wires going across.

It’s very nice seeing in the end, the change throughout the years from when it was first build to now. You can see how far the city has come to.

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