It’s been a while since my last photo essay, and I am here to rectify that right now!
This collection of photos is really random. Just shots I had taken throughout the course of the year that I really liked and want to share with you. The one thing that unifies them is that the point of view is always looking up at the buildings in Manhattan. And because this is Manhattan, they also happen to be luxurious and by extension expensive.
Let’s start off with a panoramic view from Central Park facing 59th Street, or the south border of the park. That art deco building with the gold crown is the Trump Parc Condominium formerly known as the Barbizon-Plaza Hotel.
The tall structure to the right of it is One 57 a super-tall residential building second only to 432 Park Avenue. One duplex sold for $100 million to give you an idea of the neighborhood.
The building under construction is Nordstrom Tower which is also supertall and super expensive. Are we seeing a pattern here? Me, I just like to enjoy the view!
The photo above is the top of the very famous Plaza Hotel. You’ve all seen the entrance because it was featured in countless movies. But I bet you never saw the elaborate roof, which looks like it belongs in a fairy tale!
And while we’re on the subject of tops, here is one I took from Central Park. Fifth Avenue is located on the east side of the park and is lined with these types of buildings. This one is The Pierre Hotel on 61st Street. And the other one that is box shaped behind it, is actually 4 blocks away but it is so tall – 2nd tallest to be exact - it looms over everything else. 432 Park Avenue is a condominium for millionaires.
There it is in all its stark beauty – sticking out like a sore thumb!
The building was completed in 2014 and the condominiums have since been sold to mostly wealthy owners who buy residences for monetary gain. The majority of residences will remain unoccupied for more than 10 months out of the year.
This speaks volumes about the situation in Manhattan where we have these ultra expensive residences and then we have the subsidizing for the poor. If only there were some sort of middle ground, housing for average folks like us. Why have all these residences if no one is going to live in them?
This beauty is located on Fifth Avenue also but much further down in Manhattan, on 19th Street of the Flatiron District. The Mansard roof is surely one of a kind. And let’s not neglect that ornate facade. The building spans the length of 19th Street and is home to ABC Carpets on the Broadway side.
Across the street is this gem at 119 Fifth Avenue. Ornate architecture and lots to see way up on top!
The rooftop of 160 Eighth Avenue, also a condominium building located in Chelsea area of Manhattan is also worth looking up at.
The pyramid-like tops of these buildings belong to Zeckendorf Towers, a complex of four towers that house a medical center along with condos on the famed Union Square Park, on 14th Street, among other things. The rooftop on the seventh floor is the largest residential green roof in the city with 14,000 square feet of space.
These two buildings are right across from the Zeckendorf Towers with Union Square Park in the center. The shorter one, the Decker Building is a masterpiece of intricate design, as if someone placed a lace doily over the building, with Islamic and Venetian influences. At one point it was the site of Andy Warhol’s Factory Studio.
The taller building was originally built in 1903 as the Bank of the Metropolis. It has been converted into luxury lofts.
This one which makes you dizzy, when you look up is the facade of the New School. If you stand too close like I did, it looks as if it is about to crumble on you. Like watching one of those action hero movies.
I should have gone across the street to photograph it but it was so crowded that day I didn’t want to brave crossing the street. You can see how it actually looks here. I kinda prefer this scary view from right below. More dramatic don’t you think?
This shot was taken on 56th Street and Broadway. Nothing very special about it except that it will give you an idea of how various buildings are piled/stacked on each other. That and the great light shadow look that I so love.
The building on the left was originally General Motor’s 10 story headquarters.
This lovely belle is a classic Cass Gilbert structure – he of the Woolworth Building fame – right across the street from Carnegie Hall. Lots of activity up there and just two short blocks away from Central Park with all the super skyscrapers.
This behemoth is across the street from la belle, and looks like a fortress in comparison. All massive heavy brownstone brick like. The Osborne Apartments are a city landmark and with a lobby like this it is easy to see why.
And finally we come to my all time favorite. The one that made my jaw drop to the floor when I turned the corner and spotted it. Never, ever have I see so much plaster, er, sculpture on a building. It was as if the cake decorator was let loose.
The Alwyn Court Apartments was built around 1907. It is covered in Francis I style terracotta ornamentation and is a New York Landmark (of course) in the French Renaissance style. Louis XVI could have come up with this one himself.
And that was my straining-your-neck, humorous look at all things that make you look up in Manhattan. As you can see, there is quite a variety of buildings and each architect has his own ideas as to what should be on top of a building or even on its facade.
Do you have a favorite?
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