1. Empire State Building

    The Empire State Building (1930–31) is the tallest structure in New York. For 28 years its dominance was eclipsed by the World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the September 2001 terrorist attack. With an 86th-floor observatory, the building receives some 3.5 million visitors each year .

  2. G.E. Building

    Soaring 70 stories into the sky, this dramatic skyscraper , designed by Raymond Hood and erected between 1931 and 1933, has shallow setbacks that recede into the distance. Part of the greatness of Hood’s design is the contrast between the building’s height and surrounding Rockefeller Center.

    • 30 Rockefeller Plaza, between 50th & 51st Sts

    • Closed to public

  3. Chrysler Building

    The gleaming, stainless steel, tiered spire of the Chrysler Building adds grace to the city skyline. William Van Alen fashioned this Art Deco classic in 1928–30 as a tribute to the automobile. The building has a decorative frieze of stylized hubcaps and silver gargoyles, much like the winged radiator caps of a Chrysler automobile .

    Chrysler Building
  4. Flatiron Building

    This 21-story, triangular-shaped building has intrigued New Yorkers since it was built by Daniel Burnham in 1902; the shape was so unusual that people took bets on whether it would topple. The secret of this successful design was in the steel frame support, which was used instead of traditional heavy stone walls: a precursor of skyscrapers to come .

  5. Woolworth Building

    Architect Cass Gilbert was responsible for this flamboyant 1913 Neo-Gothic building, the tallest in the world for two decades after it was completed. The rich terracotta ornamentation accentuates the structure’s steel frame, which soars to a crown 60 stories above Broadway. The small lobby boasts one of the most luxurious marble interiors in Manhattan.

    • 233 Broadway, between Park Pl & Barclay St

    • Free

  6. Lever House

    Gordon Bunshaft’s 24-story Lever House, completed in 1952, was revolutionary; it was New York’s first skyscraper built in the form of a soaring glass and steel vertical slab. It began the eventual transformation of Park Avenue into an avenue of glass towers.

    • 390 Park Ave, between 53rd and 54th Sts

    • Open during office hours

  7. Seagram Building

    The first New York building by Mies van der Rohe is this landmark “glass box” with slender bands of bronze amid walls of smoked glass rising from the horizontal open plaza. The materials in the glass-walled lobby by Philip Johnson help blur the division between indoor and outdoor space. The Four Seasons Restaurant, offering American cuisine, lies within.

    • 375 Park Ave, between 52nd & 53rd Sts

    • Open during office hours

  8. Citigroup Center

    The 59-story Citigroup Center, built in 1978, was New York’s first Postmodern skyscraper. The rakish, triangular top never served its original purpose as a solar panel, but it did make the building instantly recognizable. An open base on four tall columns and a reflective aluminum-and-glass exterior give the building an airy quality despite its huge size.

    • 153 East 53rd St at Lexington Ave

    • Closed to public

    Citigroup Center
  9. World Financial Center

    Cesar Pelli’s Postmodern complex, comprising four tall towers around a glorious palm-filled Winter Garden, gave the city an elegant business center when it was completed in 1985. In addition, there are public spaces for concerts and special events and an outdoor plaza on the water complete with boat marina and Statue of Liberty views .

    View of the World Financial Center from the yacht harbor

    The Winter Garden, World Financial Center
  10. World Wide Plaza

    The copper roof and crown of frosted glass atop a 48-story tower by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill bring some traditional romance to a 1989 Postmodern building. There is a wraparound arcade that acts as another entrance. The building of the World Wide Plaza complex, which includes two apartment buildings, a theater, and a large open plaza, transformed a decaying neighborhood.

    • Between 8th & 9th Aves and 49th & 50th Sts

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