This weekend, my sister handed me this great USAToday article on the best buildings in New York City. This list was chosen by one Rick Bell, who is the head of The Center for Architecture. What is so interesting is his approach to this list. These are not the buildings that are imprinted on everyone’s brain from TV or movies, but truly unique spaces of ingenuity and design that speak as much about the inhabitants as they do about the technical aspects of design. I have taken the list and made a “MEGA” walking tour…added a few other stops for good measure. It is long, but could be done. Or you could take a section of the tour and just concentrate on a few buildings on the list and detour to your hearts content.
A. Most tours of NYC, begin at the epi-center of humanity, Times Square. If you should be in Times Square look for the CONDE NAST BUILDING: 4 Times Square, Manhattan, by Fox & Fowle Architects, 1996-1999.
B. HEARST TOWER: 951-969 Eighth Ave., near 56th Street, Manhattan, by Sir Norman Foster, 2004.
C. ROSE CENTER FOR EARTH AND SPACE: At the American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, Manhattan, by James Stewart Polshek, 2000.
Cross through Central park to…
D. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Ave. (I added this one)
E. SEAGRAM BUILDING: 375 Park Ave., near 53rd Street, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Philip Johnson (design architects) and Kahn & Jacobs (associate architects), 1958.
F. A MUST SEE IS GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL: 42nd Street and Park Avenue, Manhattan, by Reed & Stern and Warren & Wetmore, 1903-1913, restored by Beyer, Blinder & Belle, 1998. Free tours ($10 suggested donation) sponsored by the Municipal Arts Society, Wednesdays, 12:30 p.m.; meet at the information booth on the main concourse. Trust me when I say you must see it to believe it.
G. I love the CHRYSLER BUILDING: 405 Lexington Ave., at 42nd Street, Manhattan, by William Van Alen, 1930.
H. MORGAN LIBRARY EXPANSION: 33 E. 36th St., at Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, Renzo Piano, 2006.
I. Little Italy for much needed carbs and vino
J. All the way down broadway, in the heart of Soho, you will find the store that Carrie Bradshaw preened to Burger about… PRADA NEW YORK: 575 Broadway, near Prince Street, Manhattan, by Rem Koolhaas, 2001.
K. While you are downtown mosey (can one mosey in New York?) over to the APPLE STORE SOHO: 103 Prince St., Manhattan, by Ronnette Riley and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, 2002, with Apple’s creative team, including CEO Steve Jobs and others.
Then take in a show and dinner at the Blue Note.
There are many other terrific things to see on the way from one building to the other as well.
If you can make it across the bridge… the BROOKLYN MUSEUM: Entry pavilion and plaza, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, by James Stewart Polshek, 2004.
By the way, if you are looking for a terrific map service that provides walking directions, may I suggest ask.com city feature. According to Ask.com, the above tour with out tangents would take 3 hours and 25 minutes of walking time.
Tomorrow, we hit the history trail in NYC.