Manhattan: A Changing Skyline

New York
Manhattan: A Changing Skyline
Here we take a look at just how the Manhattan skyline has seen great change since the turn of the 20th century

New York is considered by many as the pinnacle of all city breaks. Renowned by many as the city that never sleeps, there’s never a dull moment while exploring the city using your New York attraction passes. Although the city proper is split into five boroughs, the most famous of them all is Manhattan, and while many recognise it as a land of high-rise buildings, many fail to realise the significant change which the area has experienced over the years. Here we take a look at just how the famous area has changed since the 20th century.

Important buildings in the skyline

Throughout the decades, the one constant in New York has been the construction of skyscrapers, all of which look to be bolder and larger than their predecessors. While there are too many to feature in this piece, here’s our look at the top 5 buildings.

One World Trade Center

Now a symbol of not only New York but America as a whole, the One World Trade Center was completed in 2013 and is built on the same site as the North and South Towers of the Center, which were attacked in 2001. Standing at 1,776ft high, it’s the fourth tallest building in the World and the highest of any in America. It means that not only is it a dominating sight in the city, but it also commands incredible views across miles of New York landscape from the observatory located 1,254ft in the sky.


Empire State Building

The original high-rise building in Manhattan, the Empire State Building was completed in 1931 and stands at a total of 1,454ft. Unmistakable for its art deco styling, it’s one of America’s best loved landmarks and millions enjoy outstanding views across New York from the Empire State Building Observatory– tickets for which you can purchase through us today.

Chrysler Building

Part of the furniture in the New York skyline, the Chrysler Building was the world’s tallest building from May 1930 to April 1931 and many architects feel it’s one of the finest buildings in the city. While it was built primarily to serve as the headquarters for the Chrysler Corporation, today 90 per cent of the building is owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Council.

Chrysler Building

1 Wall Street

Another Art Deco structure which is unmistakable in the skyline of Lower Manhattan, 1 Wall Street is the headquarters of a bank and was designed by Ralph Walker. Completed in 1931, it stands at 654ft tall and the façade of the building is covered in limestone. If you are wandering the streets of the city following your New York City shopping tour, be sure to come down and take a look at this incredible piece of architecture.

A word from the New York Mayor

To find out more about the skyline of this fantastic city we were able to speak to Mr Kenneth Cobb, Assistant Commissioner to the New York Mayor’s Office:

“The most important structures, in mind, are the World Trade Center Towers. For both their symbolism as iconic skyscrapers, the tallest in the world at the time of construction; and then, of course for their absence after the attack of 9/11.”

-          Kenneth Cobb, Assistant Commissioner to the New York Mayor’s Office

We then asked what he feels is the biggest cause for the changing of the skyline, to which he gave a thorough and detailed response.

“I feel the biggest cause for the change of the skyline is the economic motivations for construction of ever-taller buildings.  In a confined geographic area such as Manhattan, they maximize the revenue potential for scarce real estate and serve as efficient space for many types of businesses. Their architectural features, often unique, also serve as a form of advertising, e.g. the Chrysler Building.” 

-          Kenneth Cobb, Assistant Commissioner to the New York Mayor’s Office

Image Credit: David Jones, Francesca Giachetta, Jeffrey Zeldman(

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