Skyline

Aerial Overview of the Statue of Liberty and Upper New York Bay, 1956

Aerial Overview of the Statue of Liberty and Upper New York Bay, 1956

The Statue of Liberty stands at the entrance to New York Harbor, welcoming all to the land of liberty. Looking past her, you can see a string of barges heading into the harbor and an Ocean Liner heading out. Beyond them are the Lower Manhattan Skyline and the East River bridges. The golden age of transatlantic sailing  was coming to an end by this time, and the era of jet travel was about to begin.

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Aerial Overview of the Empire State Building, 1964

Aerial Overview of the Empire State Building, 1964

The Empire State Building is no less impressive when seen from above than from below. In this aerial photograph, taken in 1964, we can see the Art Deco masterpiece in all its glory. It dominates the midtown skyline, stabbing upward into the sky, defiantly daring someone to build a taller building. It would be nearly a decade before anyone would.

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Lower Manhattan Skyline looking North, 1930

Lower Manhattan Skyline looking North, 1930

A man in silhouette looks out from a high office in City Bank-Farmers' Trust Company Building toward 40 Wall Street, then known at the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building, which had only recently passed the Woolworth Building, visible further uptown, as the tallest building in the world. 40 Wall held that title for only a few weeks before being surpassed by the Chrysler Building, which can be seen through the window to the extreme right.

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Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan Skyline at Dusk, 1956

Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan Skyline at Dusk, 1956

Sun sets over New York City, and the city begins to glow with its own light. The spires of the Lower Manhattan skyscrapers, including the Cities Services Building and the Woolworth Building, can be seen beyond the Brooklyn Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge. The skyline of today would not be extremely different. Most notable, perhaps, is the absence of lights coming from the South Street Seaport, which in 1956 was not a tourist destination, but a working fish market.

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East River Skyline, c. 1955

East River Skyline, c. 1955

The Manhattan Skyline viewed from Roosevelt Island in 1955 looks strikingly familiar to a contemporary viewer. The art deco spires of the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building spear the sky, and the cigarette-box-shaped United Nations waits impassively for the better world its construction was supposed to help usher in. But the majestic giants of the second half of the Twentieth Century are conspicuously absent. The Citigroup Center, the Bear Stearns Building, the MetLife Building, and many others have yet to replace their smaller, forgotten predecessors.

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Lower Manhattan Skyline through Brooklyn Bridge Cables, 1923

Lower Manhattan Skyline through Brooklyn Bridge Cables, 1923

This view of the Lower Manhattan Skyline from the walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge is enhanced by the geometrics of the steel support cables and lattice.  The cables themselves were, in part, made from inferior wire that a subcontractor snuck into the project.  Rather than remove them, Chief Engineer Roebling let them stay, reasoning that the bridge would now be only four times stronger than it needed to be rather than six.

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Bombers Over Manhattan, 1940

Bombers Over Manhattan, 1940

View of northeast of the Lower Manhattan Skyline in 1940 as B-17 Bombers fly over the city.  Developed by Boeing in the late 1930s, the B-17 Flying Fortress was a strategic weapon for the Allies in World War II.  A high-flying four-engine heavy bomber, the B-17 dropped more bombs than any other U.S. aircraft during World War II.  Over 12,000 were manufactured before production ceased in 1945.  The Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges can be seen in the background along with some Lower Manhattan skyscrapers.

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Chrysler Building at Dusk, 1950

Chrysler Building at Dusk, 1950

View southeast toward the Chrysler Building on East 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue.  A flourescent lancet crown tops this Manhattan landmark, which opened in 1931.  Designed by architect William Van Alen, this Art Deco masterpiece was the tallest building in the world for eleven months, before being surpassed by the Empire State Building.  In this photo, its majesty is unrivaled.

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Chrysler and Lincoln Buildings, 1930

Chrysler and Lincoln Buildings, 1930

View northwest toward the Chrysler and Lincoln Buildings both completed in 1930.  While the Chrysler Building towers over the Lincoln and is the pinnacle of Art Deco style, the Lincoln Building is not without its own merits.  Built in the neo-gothic style, the Lincoln Building sports gothic windows at the top and a bronze model of Abraham Lincoln by Daniel Chester French in it's lobby.  The statue was removed in 2009 when the building was renamed to One Grand Central Plaza.

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