Lower Manhattan is home to quite a few landmark buildings. Several of those buildings go back to early settlement times where the positioning of these buildings was dictated by their needs. As time progressed, new structures were being built around them— creating a unique urban composition. These compositions are visible to us through the spaces, sight lines and urban streets we see today.
An example of this unique composition can be seen at the site of the National Museum of the American Indian. Before it occurs a welcoming green space, Bowling Green, for users to enjoy whether or not they intend to go into the museum. This big street, Broadway, is split into two as it reaches Bowling Green, this is done intentionally in order to make a person’s, who is walking down Broadway street, line of sight focus in on the Museum’s monumental facade. Walking along Broad Street, we notice the street is sort of turning/curving, offering a different urban experience. All these turns offers different structures to admire as you walk up towards Nassau Street. Once there, a similar occurrence to that of the museum occurs for Federal Halls. Except here, the building appears to have taken up some of the street and in order to keep walking up you’d have to turn again and walk around it. This instance created here is done so that as you’re walking up from Broad Street and you’ve walked past the Stock Exchange Building, you’re stopped by the need to get around Federal Hall but also to admire its grandness and the statue of George Washington.
Very similar experiences occur for several of the landmark buildings, where streets and spaces are treated with the same manner so that people have these delicate and unanticipated experiences as they’re about to come in contact with these magnificent historical buildings.