Skyline Of New York

Skyline Of New York
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Skyline Of New York

Like all great city skylines, the history of the New York City Skyline is one of evolution and growth over the course of centuries. Even premodern urban centers like ancient Rome and the city-state of Athens grew from nothing. Through years of social, political, and economic struggle, great cities have developed in nearly every corner of the world.

The history of the New York City Skyline is a study of economic growth, political intrigues, and social upheaval that at time took on air of class warfare. Always a landing point for immigrants from all over the world, New York City remains one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. It is no accident that New York's proximity to the sea made it a natural location for trade of all kinds.

The island of Manhattan was the first area to be heavily settled and developed. Following the arrival of Henry Hudson, the Dutch created the first permanent European settlement on what is now Manhattan Island. The fabled story of how Manhattan was purchased from the islands indigenous inhabitants remains a matter of some dispute since the sellers, the Carnarsee tribe, did not have a claim to the land. The southern tip of Manhattan Island was settled first, with native peoples, Africans and other immigrants creating settlements in the central and northern parts of the island.

The late Nineteenth Century saw a boom in construction with many famous buildings and structures. Erected in 1886 as a gift from the French, The Statue of Liberty is regarded by many people to have provided the impetuous the great skyline structures to follow. The Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, and the Williamsburg Bridge connected Manhattan Island with Long Island and stand as some of the earliest examples of American ingenuity and progress. Great edifices like the Singer Building, Metropolitan Life Building, and the Woolworth Building helped to propel New York City into the skyscraper race. Completed in 1913, the Woolworth Building was a marvel of modern urban construction reaching a height of almost 800 feet.

The early Twentieth Century saw a continuation of the building boom and like a painter adding to his canvass, the New York City skyline developed into an architectural masterpiece. As the Great Depression gripped the country and millions thrown out of work, two of the most iconic buildings in New York City were constructed. By the time it was completed in 1929, the Chrysler Building rose to over 1000 feet making it the tallest building in the world. One of the unique features of the Chrysler Building's Art Deco design is the stainless steel that covers the upper floors and tower.

The distinction of being the tallest building in the world did not last long. The construction of the Empire State Building would once change the skyline of New York. When it officially opened in 1932, the 102 floors of the Empire State Building made it the tallest building in the world. At over 1400 feet tall, this magnificent building towers above Midtown Manhattan. Millions of people visit the building every year and from the two observation decks, visitors have a view of almost 80 miles on a clear day. The Empire State Building remained the world's tallest skyscraper until the completion of the former World Trade Centers Towers in 1973.

Since opening in 1971, the former twin towers of the World Trade Center overtook the Empire State Building in both height and notoriety. The towers were unique in design and rose above Lower Manhattan to a staggering 1700 feet and 110 floors. An estimated 50 thousand people worked in the World Trade Center, which boasted its own shops, subway station, and other amenities. Like the great buildings that came before it the steel and glass exterior of the Trade Center towers were the most visible structures in the city. The tragic loss of life and the absence of these incredible structures have left a void in the heart of Manhattan and America.

The New York City Skyline indeed reflects the progress, trials and success of a city that many people regard as the greatest city in the world.