Professor Montgomery

Author: daniel (Page 2 of 2)

Week 9

How do the Chrysler and Empire compare? Describe the massing, materials, and

detailing of each?

Tall buildings had been amazed by people through decades with their massive structure and high elevation from the ground because they mostly were impossible to build. In the 1900s two of the great high-rise buildings were developed marking a new era of skyscrapers the Chrysler building and the Empire State Building, the first of their kind in which at the time were named as the tallest buildings in the world. Both buildings are examples of the Art Deco style in which were built to represent the power and status of the emerging automobile industry.

The Chrysler building structure is one of the tallest buildings in the world with a skeleton frame with an incredible roof design with arches and triangular windows and an antenna at the top of the roof making it look like a glass crown floating on the air at night. The building mass is full of brick, stone, glass and masonry details giving a unique image to the building which in my opinion makes the building stand up again others. How the building is built is interesting because at the bottom is wider and as the building is getting higher the building structure is thinner, likely that each story is on top of Each other to hold the high of the building structure.

The Empire State building was built after the Chrysler building surpassing it’s high and named the world tallest building until the construction of the World Trade Center building. The building count with a unique curtain wall, masonry details, and a structural steel frame. The roof has an antenna but it’s different from the Chrysler building because it doesn’t have arcs or triangular windows but it also looks like the roof is floating at night because the roof is the most illuminated part of the building.

The Chrysler Building and the Empire State building are masterpieces of architecture which started a new generation of classic skylines.  their massing is unique in which are examples of great use of materials and exceptional masonry details.

What is important about the way civic infrastructure is developed in a city? How do Penn Station and Grand Central reflect New York City’s civic architectural culture and history?

As the city grows industrialization starts to increase during the 1900s and transportation becomes a necessity for the city. The importance of transportation in a city is important because it enables us to connect and unite with one another. Bridges and railroads are important to the infrastructure of a city because without them we can’t move to other places neither interact with other neighborhoods or boroughs. Bridges and railroads make our lives easier to move from one place to another. Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station are a reflection of the importance of transportation in a city.

Grand Central Terminal is a railroad terminus of the Metro-North railroad with a massive structure and incredible pain arts inside the building. It also features different types of shops and a connection to the MTA Subway. While Penn Station is the main railroad station and busiest station in New York city connecting New York to different cities. For a city to develop to its full potential transportation is inevitable which Grand Central Terminal and Penn station play a big role in it because it not only transport people it also brings people in. Even though both differ in design, scale, and structure both serve as a method of transportation for the city which at the time these were built they bring a new structure to the city development.

Describe the unique urban composition of key landmark buildings in lower Manhattan, with analysis of sight lines and urban streets and spaces.

The Brooklyn Bridge marks a new era for the structure and view of New York City creating a new architecture style of tall buildings with new technology marking a whole new beginning for the city. New York City structure now was composed with a variety of different building styles. Which we can still see and differentiate the different architectural styles in the lower Manhattan. Some of the historical buildings that preserved a different culture and era are The Federal Hall Building, Trinity Church, St Paul chapel, Equitable building, and Woolworth Building.

As I walk through Wall Street, I noticed that the Federal Hall building and the St. Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Church stand up because of their exterior structure and scale among others. The federal Hall building counts with a massive structure and columns at the facade of the building and its unique long stairs at the entrance of the building. This building is noticeable because is different among other buildings which gives a different experience of the other tall buildings filled with glass. While the St. Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Church can be seen from the entrance of the federal hall building with its incredible triangular shapes, details sculptures and color. These two buildings are not tall but they are noticeable because of their different design and atmosphere projection they project. Also, while I was contemplating the view of these buildings I noticed that the space of the streets is wide open not close to each other, which gives you space to enjoy the view. In this area, we can experience the change of era from old architecture and new architecture in which some of the buildings are combined from both architecture styles new and old.

On the other hand, we have the Woolworth Building which was characterized during the 1900s the tallest building in the world, with a massive structure, details sculpture and triangular shapes at the top of each composition and its triangular tower. This building seems to be built following the old architecture style because each level or composition from bottom to top is overlapping one each other which makes sense at that time to used that kind of technique. while the Equitable building was the largest office building in the world by floor area reinforced from the bottom with this massive structure and then it follows a continuity of flat floor levels which at the top again it is filled with details sculpture making the building to stand. Both buildings are built to create more space in the city and create more room for people because of the rapid industrialization of the city during the 1900s. Yet the new buildings were taking the same style but implementing new elements to it, in this case, nature and more space around the buildings where people can relax and enjoy the view of the city.

In conclusion, The Brooklyn Bridge had a great impact on architecture that defined the view and structure of New York City implementing and creating new architectural styles to the buildings.

Compare the viewing of art in a house museum (Frick) to a designed museum (Guggenheim). Compare the spaces and movement through the galleries.

The Frick Collection Museum is one of the oldest houses built in the 1900s which later pass to become a museum and a treasure of New York City. The Frick museum stands up because of its incredible massive structure and gardens around it. While the Guggenheim Museum attracts your attention from the outside because of its unique design among other buildings around it.


The Frick Museum experience was unique. Yet it has an incredible view from the outside but when it comes to the interior of the building is totally different, the atmosphere you feel inside the building is unique once you put a step inside the building it makes you feel you are in a different era or place because of the objects, details and light in the interior that the building offers. The interior is full of paints and sculptures and a fountain in the center of the building filled with water, flowers, and columns around it with a big window on top of it, which is one of my favorite view from the museum. Also, I notice that each gallery was different some of them were filled with paints and other with objects of the 1900s with big mirrors and each gallery gives you a different experience. While I was moving inside the building, I got the sensation to get lost and not found my way out because the building is so big that for a moment, I felt I was in a maze. The feeling you experience inside these walls is power, safeness, and enjoyment.


On the other hand, we have the Guggenheim Museum with a spiral design and its unique ramp gallery. The first thing you notice in the interior of the building are the spiral structures and a big window at the top of the building which is a circular figure representing the end of the building. The ground level is an open space where you can see the whole interior in the building and enjoy the view of the spiral design that this building offers. its unique ramp gallery gives you a unique experience to contemplate different views of the building as you go up and at the same time see people around the gallery because it’s circular shape.


Both buildings are used to be museums but the differences of each building are noticeable. The Frick Collection museum was built to be a house from the beginning while the Guggenheim Museum was built to be a museum. The Frick museum spaces and design works to be a house while the Guggenheim Museum design doesn’t. While I was in the Frick Museum, I had the feeling to be in a house a big house.

How would you describe the sense of place when walking through 19th century New York City neighborhoods? What qualities are particularly notable?

Visiting Washington Square Park and Greenwich village through SoHo, I realize the difference between the early 1900s architecture style and the new architectural style. The difference is huge the ambient is different from the city, while I was walking through the place, I felt that I was in a different era from the 1900s because of the way the buildings are designed and built, the variety of colors and similarities of the buildings with stairs at the front and more importantly lower levels buildings.  I was amazed by the view this place has to offer.


At the entrance of Washington Square Park, the first noticeable thing is the Washington arch and the large fountain at the center which are the two main attractions of this place. People from different parts of the city come to this place to take pictures and film videos or do shows at the arch and enjoy the view. Buildings surrounded by the park conserve the Greek style and Italian style of the 1900s with a massive cast-iron structure that gives a unique design to the buildings. Also, as I walked to SoHo, I notice that the streets were smaller closer to each other and not straight making them difficult to walk.


Greenwich village reflects and represents the old architecture style, for example, lower levels of buildings, big entrances and doors, big streets with a unique style and architectural details at the front of each building.  This place has historic buildings from the 1900s where visitors can experience and feel how it was at that time and gives a sense of how people lived in the past.

How does the design of the park impact visitors? What features of the park are particularly notable? Describe these features and why you are intrigued by them.

With the rapid industrialization and progressive improvements of New York in the 1800s, society pushes for a plan to create landscape spaces, walking paths that connect different sides of the city, and more importantly a place where people can enjoy.

In 1850 a movement start to take place to create a park that will allow to connect different parts of the city between east, west, south and north, to create more open spaces with better air condition, a playground where kids and people can enjoy and relax. In 1855 this project was approved by the state, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux project were selected out of others’ designs to create a park that will mainly know past to be a masterpiece of landscape architecture nowadays.

Central Park design varies in different architectural styles such as English style and gothic style among others. At the entrance and sides of the park, we can see directly to the inside of the park which is not covered by big walls or arcs around it. Nature is one of the features that bring life to the park among the city skyscrapers. Lakes at this park is one of the features that this park brings to visitors to view and relax. Another feature is the roads of this park allowing to connect different sides and neighborhoods of the city. With the construction of this park, it increases the cost of land where rich people only can afford.

In a city filled with tall buildings, central park gave a different feeling to people where they can disconnect from the city and enjoy the nature that the park brings. Central Park connects neighborhoods around the city creating an open society where people can interact with each other and kids can enjoy and play.

What factors precipitated housing crisis for immigrants and the working poor? What needed to change? How does this crisis mirror/relate to current conditions of housing in New York?

During the years of the 1800s to 1900s, New York became the center of attraction for immigrants to move in, rapidly increasing the population creating housing a huge problem. Hosing for immigrants was not easy they have to live in extremely difficult living conditions, overcrowding in houses, not enough restrooms and highly rents generates a big crisis for them.

With the arrived of immigrants, land and housing started to increase rapidly where Landowners and wealthy people became aware of it and began to build creating more houses not caring about the safety and health of people but themselves. Their tenement homes provided little light, air and many lacked indoor plumbing creating diseases such as tuberculosis.  This disease becomes a huge problem during 1905 and 1915 that it came to symbolize the concern of public living safety creating Acts that make housing more efficient in terms of space, safety, and sanitation.

In 1899 new designs of buildings were created solving the problem of space, light, and overcrowding in buildings. These new designs promote air and light to be more sustainable in buildings not creating pollution or illness. Also, with these new design use of lots were more efficient with high buildings creating more rooms for people. Yet it doesn’t solve all the problems, beautiful and safety buildings were more expensive and people of lower-income cannot afford it.

Overpopulation, sanitation, expensive rents, and sustainable buildings are still some of the main factors of the current issues of housing in New York. Nowadays housing is very expensive with a very small space to live. Even though New York is one of the world’s largest city, space is very important when it comes to housing, projects and design are still in progress to create a better place where people can live comfortable without affecting the environment and at the same time at a lower cost.

Comparing Urban New York/Brooklyn architecture and streetscape

Manhattan and Brooklyn have architecturally significant buildings in a wide range of styles showing different historical and cultural times. The Architecture and streetscape of Manhattan and Brooklyn had a major influence by the Dutch and British style during the beginning of the urban development, even though both Manhattan and Brooklyn differ in terms of forms, details and structure.

Brooklyn Heights neighborhood is largely composed of blocks of picturesque rowhouses and a few mansions. A great range of architectural styles is represented in the buildings, such as Greek revival. Some houses were constructed of brick and wood but the dominant building material was brownstone.  A typical brownstone house is three or four stories tall with the main floor above the street level and reached by the stairs referred to as a stoop a word derived from Dutch. The basement is typically a half down from the street, the rear of the lot would be a private garden. Also, Brooklyn Heights has very few high-rise buildings with three, four and five-story buildings creating a neighborly atmosphere where Manhattan has a different structure and design of the building environment.

On the other hand, Manhattan has been a powerful city from the beginning and has been shaped by big tall buildings and big structures using solid stone and brick. Manhattan’s large residential areas are mostly defined by elegant brownstones rowhouses, townhouses, and tenements that were built during the 1800s defining the city growth and development. Stone buildings in Manhattan have a unique form where the first floors are taller than the rest of the other floors with a variety of textures, designs, and shapes. Also, the windows are particularly similar to the floor structure for example windows in the first floor are very different than the upper floors, it seems to follows a pattern where the first and upper floors are divided in two forms even thought is just one building with a different form of design.

In the end, we can see the difference between Brooklyn and Manhattan architecture and streetscape by looking at the structures and forms of the buildings where Manhattan has the tallest elegant buildings and commercial structure while Brooklyn had a lower scale building with a more neighborly atmosphere. In terms of streetscape Manhattan have a more organized and wide space while Brooklyn lacks organization and space.

Compare New York and Brooklyn Urban Growth and Planning

Manhattan and Brooklyn both had a different trajectory of growth and development but Brooklyn didn’t fully begin to develop in a faster way. Urban development in Manhattan was much more planned in compare to Brooklyn’s development. Manhattan’s location and land help a lot with its fast development over Brooklyn.

New York development started with the Dutch settles in 1664 who began their urbanization in lower Manhattan known as New Amsterdam. At this time pathways and roads were created unorganized and unplanned until 1810. After the war in 1797 when the city went into a huge expansion the first grid was created. The city recovered quickly from the war, and by this time it was one of the nation’s most important ports. As the city grew in 1811 the first grid was stablished of streets and avenues for the undeveloped parts of Manhattan. This grid helped Manhattan’s development by creating organized streets and use of lots to be more efficient.

Manhattan had a better land to grow faster than Brooklyn. The city already was one of the most important ports, the cotton economy played a particular role in its development. Southern planters sent their crop to the east river docks, where it was shipped to the English industries cities. Then textile manufacturers shipped their finished goods back to New York.  The Erie Canal was completed in 1825, New York City was the trading capital of the nation and by 1837 the construction on the Croton Aqueduct provided clean water for the city’s growing population. With all these new implementations growth was inimitable.

While Manhattan was developing Brooklyn was already behind its development, without a grid plan and small port it was very difficult to grow fast.  Its location and land didn’t help, with an unstable and unorganized land, developing and growth was very difficult. But with the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn development start to grow fast.

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