1. Discuss navigating the continuous course from Grand Central Terminal to five different buildings in Manhattan, discuss the styles of architecture of each building.
If we go from Grand Central Terminal along the fifth avenue we can see Rockefeller Center – it is a complex of 19 commercial buildings, built by Rockefeller family, located in the middle of Manhattan, between 5th and 7th Avenue and 47th and 52nd Street. The center was declared an official city landmark in 1987, as the largest private complex of its kind in the world and a symbol of Art Nouveau architecture of world importance. The complex of 19 skyscrapers, which were built before World War II, make up a small business town. The best known are 14 high-rise buildings with decoration in Art Deco style. One of the most notable buildings is the 70-storey “GE Building”ť. Its facade is decorated with a bizarre allegorical bas-relief “Wisdom”ť, created by Lee Lowry. Here are located: the famous club-restaurant “Rainbow Room”ť on the 65 floor, offices of the Rockefeller family on 54-56 floors, the headquarters of NBC, as well as many other studios. Also one of the important parts of Rockefeller Center is the Radio City Music Hall, built in 1932, which at that time was the largest and most magnificent theater of its kind in the world. (Wolfe, 2003)
To the north of Rockefeller Center there are several important museums. On the Fifty-second street there is the Museum of Television and Radio, which is also known as “The Paley Center for Media”ť. The museum was founded by William S. Paley, in 1975. The museum was first built in East 53 Street, later it expanded and moved to a new building, designed by Philip Johnson. On the next, Fifty-third Street, there is the second largest art museum in New York – MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art. Museum building was built in 1939, in 1964 the building has been finished two wings, designed by architect Philip Johnson. In 2004 the old building was completely redone by the Japanese architect Yossi Taniguchi, who turned it into the large futuristic complex. (Wolfe, 2003)
Going from the museum along the Park Ave we will get to the Central park, which is considered one of the most popular places in New York, and is one of the largest and most famous parks in the world. The park is located on the island of Manhattan between 59th and 110th Street and Fifth and Eighth Avenue, and thus has a rectangular shape. The length of the park is 4 km, width is 800 meters, total area is about 3.4 kmÂ˛. The plan of the park was designed by architect Frederick Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. Despite the fact that the park looks very natural, almost all the landscapes were created by hand: it has several artificial lakes, a large number of paths, two ice skating rink, wildlife and meadows that are used for different sports, as well as children’s playgrounds and a zoo. (Wolfe, 2003)
On the eastern part of Central Park, in the so-called the Museum Mile in Manhattan, is located MetropĎŚliten Museum of Art. The museum building was built of red brick in Gothic style and Renaissance style, designed by American architects Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wray Malden. The museum building was recognized one of U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1986. Metropolitan Museum of Art is the main museum in New York and a cultural center of the United States, which collection of art is one of the largest and most important of the existing collections on the planet. (Wolfe, 2003)
2. “Twin Towers”ť
The construction of Â«Twins TowerÂ» started in the 60s, when the authorities of New York decided to develop a large-scale project, a project that would become the pride of millions of Americans. It has been proposed many projects, but the authorities decided on the proposal by American architect – Minoru Yamasaki. The towers were 110 floors ”“ Northern tower was 417 m (and with the installed antenna on the roof – 526.3 m) and Southern tower was about 415 m. Some time after their construction the towers were considered the highest skyscrapers in the world. (Emporis.com.)
During construction of the buildings there were many engineering and technical problems to be solved. Minoru Yamasaki planed the “Twins Tower”ť to become not only the highest skyscrapers in the United States, but worldwide. To do this he proposed few interesting engineering solution. In fact, each tower was a very strong hollow metal tube that was generated from the columns of trusses. Along the walls of the structure there were 61 beams made of special steel. Each column had a diameter of 476.25 mm, they were placed close to each other. The distance between the beams was only 558.8 mm. Weight of each block of steel was as much as 22 tons, and the height was about 4 floors. In total, for the construction of skyscrapers was spent around 210 000 tons of high-strength steel. Overlaps between the floors were made of slabs of concrete and corrugated steel, which were fastened to the supporting elements of the assembly. Inside the buildings were erected steel columns for future elevator. (Gillespie, 1999)
Construction of the North Tower was completed in 1971 and two years later was put into operation the South Tower. The official date of opening of the World Trade Center in New York was April 4, 1973. As a result, the towers became the highest twin-skyscrapers of the United States. Thus, the builders actually managed to implement the “Project of the Century”ť, which became a symbol of the United States, the pride of the American people. (Gillespie, 1999)
Emporis.com. “New York City”ť. Accessed 30 July 2011. http://www.emporis.com
Dunlap, David W. “Tudor City Given Status As Landmark”ť. The New York Times, May 18, 1988. Accessed 30 July 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/1988/05/18/nyregion/tudor-city-given-status-as-landmark.html
Gillespie, Angus K. Twin Towers: The Life of New York City’s World Trade Center. Rutgers University Press, 1999.
Stichweh D. New York Skyscrapers. Munich: Prestel Publishing, 2009
Wolfe, Gerard R. New York, 15 Walking Tours: An Architectural Guide to the Metropolis. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2003.