New York Attractions
With City Hall busting at the seams, the Manhattan Municipal Building was created in order to meet the increased governmental space demands. The idea was first brought forth in 1898, but the building's construction didn't start until 1909. The Municipal Building was consrtucted and designed by William M. Kendall along with the firm of McKim, Mead & White; it was completed in 1914. Located just north of of the Manhattan entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge, the Municipal Building is onw of the largest government office buildings in the world. The building contains nearly 1 million square feet of office space, and it houses over 2,000 employees from about 13 municipal agencies/ Additionally, over 28,000 people are married there each year. Rising 25 floors (another 15 are located in the central tower), its highest point is marked by the famous 20-foot "Civic Fame." The golden statue, designed by sculptor Adolph Weinman, is the second-highest statue in the city. In her left hand, the statue holds a five-pointed crown representinf the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. The Municipal Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
The CityStore, located on the ground level of the Municipal Building, is the official store of New York City. Books, collectables, and other New York City souvenirs can be purchased here.
Established in 1895, the New York Public Library is one of the world's best public libraries and one of the United States' most renowned research libraries. As of recently, the library boasts a collection of books that exceeds 20 million. The New York Public Library has branches located in Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island, while the Queens and Brooklyn boroughs each have its own library. Located at 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, the library is one of the finest examples of Beaux Arts architecture (combination of classical Greek and Roman) in the city. With its white Corinthian columns and famous lion sculptures, named Patience and Fortitude, it looks like a building straight out of ancient times. As for the interior, the Rose Reading Room is the biggest and most stunning. Besides the seemingly endless amount of books, the New York Public Library also features many special exhibits on display throughout the library. The library is also home to the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division, established there after a $5 million renovation in 2005 and holds one of the world's most extensive and finest collections of maps. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1965.
During the week, a visit down to Wall Street offers people a glimpse into the often hectic world of business that encompasses lower Manhattan. This is where it all began; this is the financial heart of the city today. Back in the 17th century, the modern Wall Street was initially what formed the nothern boudary of the New Amsterdam settlement. Over the years, its been the site for the United States' first presidential inauguration (George Washington in 1789), as well as the home of the New York Stock Exchange.
At the end of Wall Street in 1792, local speculators and traders would gather under a buttonwood tree and informally trade with one another, thus creating the foundation of the NYSE. Housed in a colossal building dating back to 1903, the NYSE is the largest stock exchange in the world by dollar value. Though you can still enjoy this New York landmark from Wall Street, the observation gallery once open to the public has been closed since the September 11th attacks due to security purposes.
A bright symbol of the entertainment world in New York City, the performances and shows at Radio City Music Hall have been entertaining audiences for over 75 years. Opened in 1932, the Music Hall was originally slated to be an opera house, but the affects of the Depression and the failing economy of the time meant that plans had to be changed. Property owner John D. Rockefeller, along with corporate partners RKO and the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), abandoned the idea of opening am opera house and fixated on creating a theatre unlike any in the world. They succeeded, and together they founded Radio City Music Hall, a place where ordinary people could go to enjoy high-quality entertainment at prices they could afford. Since then, more than 300 million people have come to the Music Hall and have enjoyed countless numbers of movies, stage shows, and concerts. In 1933, Radio City Music Hall's most celebrated shows, The Christmas Spectacular, made it's debut. Over the years, millions of people have made the trip to see it, as well as the show's most notable feature, the world-famous Radio City Rockettes. Radio City Music Hall is also home to many broadcasted events, including the annual Grammy and Tony awards.
For those who don't have tickets to the many events presented here, you can still get a look at the famous hall by taking the Radio City Stage Door Tour, often lead by one of the beautiful Rockettes! For ticket prices and other information, call (212) 465-6100.
One of the most popular destinations in New York City, Rockefeller Center is an 18-building complex made up of shops, skyscrapers, restaurants, and other entertainment facilities. Funded and built by the Rockefeller family, it was the largest private building project of its time. Constuction of the buildings began in 1930, and most of the complex was completed by November, 1939. Rockefeller Center includes many of New York City's most recognizable attractions. Radio City Music Hall was opened in 1932 and has been a staple in the entertainment world of New York City, boasting an estimated 300 million visitors since its inception. At the middle of Rockefeller Center is the GE Building, a 70-floor skyscraper located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The building is the headquarters of NBC, and the famous Rainbow Room restaurant is on the 65th floor. The GE Building houses most of the network's New York studios, the most famous being Studio 8H, home of "Saturday Night Live." Additionally, the GE Building is equipped with a newly renovated observation deck, commonly known as the "Top of the Rock."
Other attractions around the Center include the Lower Plaza complex, home to the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree and the popular ice rink. This area also features many well-known sculptures, including Prometheus, the golden statue near the ice rink, and the Statue of Atlas, a figure of a man holding a globe. Don't foget about the ever-popular "Today Show." Bring a big sign with you and you just might get on TV!
Located at the southern most point in New York City, the South Street Seaport is the city's most historical district. With its cobblestone streets and some of the oldest architecture in Manhattan, visiting the Seaport is like taking a step back into mid 19th-century New York. Established in the 1800s, the Seaport was the city's main mercantile hub. Ships from many parts of the world, Europe in particular, would sail there are trade goods with the local immigrants. Today, many of the original buildings have been restored to what they once were back in the high-trade days. Additionally, many of the historical ships have been returned to their original states. Some of these ships include the Peking, a large four-master made out of steel; the Ambrose, a light ship; and the W.O. Decker, a quaint wooden tugboat, which takes people out on tours of the harbor every Saturday from May to October. Be sure to check out Pier 17, where the third floor contains two rows of deck chairs, which offer both a place to relax and a place to catch some of the best views of the city. The Seaport also houses a number of small shops and fine restaurants. The South Street Seaport was added to the list of the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
Located near Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral is the home of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. A Neo-Gothic style cathedral, it is comprised of Gothic spires, exquisite stained-glass windows, and an interior made with white marble. Designed by James Renwick, Jr., construction of St. Patrick's Cathedral began in 1858 but was put on hold until the end of the Civil War in 1865. It was completed in 1878. To this day, St. Patrick's Cathedral is the largest Catholic cathedral in the United States. Mass is celebrated seven times a day Sunday through Friday and three times a day on Saturday. The cathedral's Stations of the Cross won a prize for artistry in 1893, and its pieta, sculpted by Araldo Perugi, is three times larger than Michelangelo's Pieta. Many famous funeral services have also been held there, including that of New York Yankee great Babe Ruth, legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, and U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
Tours of St. Patrick's Cathedral are available by appointment for groups of 10 or more, Monday through Friday around the Mass schedule.
Located near the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan, St. Paul's Chapel is an Episcopal chapel that's been around since the beginning of New York City's history. Completed in 1766, it survived the Great New York City Fire of 1766, when most of the are aroundit burned to the ground following the British capture of the city during the American Revolutionary War. In 1960, it was officially declared a National Historic Landmark much due to the fact that it's the oldest public building in New York City that's still in use. More recently, St. Paul's Chapel has gained recognition for being the place where many recovery workers came to rest and recuperate after the September 11th, 2001 attacks. It was also turned into a temporary memorial at the time. In the weeks following the attacks, family members and friends of the victims posted pictures, flowers, notes, and other items on a fence around the chapel. Today, St. Paul's Chapel has preserved many of those memorials and has created a few exhibits dedicated to the tragic events of that morning.
The Statue of Liberty is undoubtedly the most recognizable and important monument in New York City. Not only does it represent the city, but it also symbolizes the freedoms and the values of our whole country. Often referred to as "Lady Liberty," the statue was constructed in France by Frederic Bartholdi. The premise behind "Lady Liberty" was that France wanted to present the United States with a gift commemorating its 100 years since the Declaration of Independence 1776. However, due to delays in construction, the statue missed its July 4, 1876 deadline. In August of 1885, "Lady Liberty" was brought over to New York City, deconstructed into 350 individual pieces and stored in 214 crates. It was stored there for 11 months until the pedestal was completed. Finally, on October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty was officially unveiled by President Grover Cleveland in front of thousands of people.
Since its debut, the Statue of Liberty has lons stood as a symbol of freedom in this country. When immigrants first entered New York Harbor, it was the first thing they saw, and it gave them the hope of opportunity. Today, millions still flock to see her, but since the attacks of 9/11, access to the statue has been greatly limited. Visitors can tour the museum, view the interior from a glass ceiling near the base, or enjoy the views from the 16-story pedestal. However, due to tightened security measures, visitors are no longer allowed within the statue. For more information, please visit www.nps.gov/stli.
Strawberry Fields is a part of New York City's Central Park which is dedicated to John Lennon, the late member of the Beatles. The landscaped field is named after the song John Lennon wrote together with Paul McCartney, "Strawberry Fields Forever." People come here to pay tribute to John Lennon or simply admire the landscape design and the flowers. On Lennon's birthday, October 9, and the anniversary of his death, December 8, people gather here to play music and sing songs. The area has become a popular place for gatherings in memory of the death of other musicians or other tragedies, such as September 11th.
The landscape artist Bruce Kelly designed the area together with Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, who also inaugurated the site on Lennon's birthday in 1985. Strawberry Fields is closely situated to the Dakota Apartments where Lennon used to live and where he was also murdered. The center of the site is made up by a large circular mosaic with one single word in the middle, "Imagine."
Address: Entrance at Central Park West at West 72nd Street, directly across from Dakota Apartments.
Located in lower Manhattan, the historic Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. Stretching over the East River, it connects the Brooklyn borough (western end of Long Island) with Manhattan. Upon its completion in 1883, it was the longest bridge in the world at the time. Additionally, it was the first steel-wire suspension bridge and the first bridge to connect to Long Island. Though it was originally dubbed the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, it was officially named the Brooklyn Bridge by the city government in 1915. Since its inception, the Brooklyn Bridge has been an iconic staple in the New York City skyline. The bridge was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964. Enjoy walking across the bridge (which takes 20 to 40 minutes each way), taking in the breathtaking views of the city. Benches are set along the way if you need a break or simply want to sit and take it all in.
Want to go see a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman while you're in New York? To get tickets, go to the CBS website and fill out a request form or have someone go to the theater and request tickets for you in person. Once you've filled out the online request form, you'll receive a phone call that will prompt you to answer a trivia question. If you answer right to the question, you're granted tickets to the show. It's always adviced that you show up early to the theater as the lines can be long and you're not offered to wait inside. Remember that you have to be 18 or older to attend the show and you can only attend once every six months. The theater can be pretty cold, so bring a jacket or a sweater to the venue to stay warm. The Late Show is a fun attraction where you get to see the stars up and personal and get some laughs from both Dave and the comedian that warms the crowd before the show starts. s
Address: Ed Sullivan Theater, 1697 Broadway,
between 53rd and 54th Sts New York City, NY