Androsky Lugo says that New York City is home to some of the most iconic architecture in the world. Slick and modern glass skyscrapers reach the sky atop wide thoroughfares as low-rise former tenements line narrow streets, many of which are cobblestone if you’ve ventured far enough downtown. It is a city of dualities and multiplicities: historical landmarks dating back to the 19th and 18th centuries dot a landscape rife with the world’s tallest skyscrapers. Androsky Lugo frequently points out it is a city that is as modern as it is a relic.
If you are visiting the city, Androsky Lugo recommends seeing these famous buildings in New York.
1. Guggenheim Museum
There are multiple Guggenheim museums worldwide, but most people think of the iconic Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on the Upper East Side. The Modernist building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was erected in 1959, designated a New York City landmark in 1990, and was placed on the World Heritage List in 2019.
Androsky Lugo explains that Guggenheim made a point of breaking away from the Beaux-Arts style commonly seen in museums.
2. Chrysler Building
The Chrysler Building near Grand Central Station is considered one of the cornerstones of Art Deco architecture in New York. Completed in 1930 at the height of the building boom the city saw in the 1920s, it briefly held the record for the world’s tallest building until the erection of the Empire State Building.
3. Flatiron Building
Formerly dubbed the Fuller Building, the Flatiron Building is renowned for its interesting triangular shape. The steel-frame Renaissance Revival building was first designed by architects D.H. Burnham & Co. for the eponymous Fuller Construction Company and completed in 1902. Founder George Fuller is known as “the father of the skyscraper”.
4. Cathedral of St. John the Divine
St. John the Divine is one of the most famous houses of worship in New York City. Tucked in Morningside Heights, slightly northwest of Central Park, it is one of the largest cathedrals in the United States.
Androsky Lugo says that what makes St. John the Divine is the blend of different styles: the cathedral was initially Byzantine Revival, then changed to Gothic Revival, and is still unfinished after the nave’s construction couldn’t be completed in 1941 due to lack of funds.
5. The Tombs
Officially named the Manhattan Detention Complex, The Tombs is one of the most famous jails in New York City. Frequently storied in song, film, and video games, the structure was erected in 1838 in the Egyptian Revival style. When it became City Prison, The Bridge of Sighs connected it to the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building before becoming an Art Deco structure in 1941. The Brutalist-style jail still houses up to 900 inmates today.