lower-Manhattan

Aerial view looking north of Lower Manhattan’s Financial DIstrict skyscrapers. Spring, 1970. The Twin Towers of World Trade Center under construction are on left. Midtown Manhattan skyscrapers with Empire State Building can be visible above, background.

Photo: Laurence Lowry-Rapho Guillumette.

Source: Yves Pélicier, Francisco Alonso-Fernández. “Enciclopedia de la Psicología y la Pedagogía. Vol. 4”. Madrid-París. Sedmay-Lidis. 1979

The 57-story City Bank Farmers Trust. 22 William Street between Exchange Place, Beaver and Hannover streets. Cross & Cross, 1930-1931. View looking south in 1932.

Photo: Peysey & Patzig.

Source: Stern, Robert A.M. Gilmartin, Gregory. Mellins, Tomás. “New York 1930. Architecture and Urbanism between the Two World Wars” (New York. Rizzoli. 1987).

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LOWER MANHATTAN SKYLINE:  Note the changing visual profile of downtown since 9/11, particularly with the loss and rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex. I took these photos from the Staten Island Ferry and harbor cruises over the years I have lived in New York City.

On May 10, 2013, the final piece of the spire was lifted to the top of One World Trade Center, bringing the tower to its full height of 1,776 feet (541 m), and making it the fourth-tallest building in the world, as well as the tallest in the city, surpassing the 1,454-foot (443 m) Empire State Building.

At the time of their completion in 1973, the “Twin Towers"—the original 1 World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center, at 1,362 feet (415.1 m)—were the tallest buildings in the world.

One World Trade Center would no longer hold its lofty designation, however, under a developer’s plan to supersize a 57th St. residential skyscraper. Gary Barnett wants to raise the top of the spire at his proposed Nordstrom Tower to 1,795 feet (547 m) — 19 feet taller than the one atop 1 World Trade Center. 

Although the angles are slightly different in the three photos, I have tried in sizing them to keep the proportions constant with reference to the older buildings in front. Clearly Lower Manhattan has filled out a lot since 2001. There are many new highrise buildings, most notably One World Trade Center, which is slimmer but 408+ feet taller than the the old Twin Towers. 

So there really has been a lot of change over the last two decades. as Lower Manhattan now booms with new construction. Creative destruction continues unabated in NYC:  stay tuned in the highrise race to the sky! 

Aerial view looking north of Lower Manhattan’s Financial District, in spring, 1969, showing the new skyscrapers that be changing the local skyline.

Left, the landfill that will be used by Battery Park City’s proyect and the steel skeleton of World Trade Center’s North Tower (1 WTC. Minoru Yamasaki & Associates-Emery Roth & Sons, 1973) began to rises behind Art Deco’s Dowtown Athletic Club (Starret & Van Vleck, 1930) red tower.

Center, above Battery Park are the new 40-story black-glass and aluminum negro del One Battery Park Plaza (Emery Roth & Sons, 1970) under construction with the new Seamen’s Church Institute (Eggers & Higgins, 1968) tower. Above can be seen the Wall Street’s area skyscrapers with Irving Trust (Voorhees, Gemelin & Walker, 1931), Marine Midland Trust (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1967), One Chase Manhattan Plaza (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, 1961) and 40 Wall Street (Henry Craig Severance-Yasuo Matsui, 1930) buildings.

Right, next Staten Island ferry terminal, are 50-story 1 New York Plaza (William Lescaze & Associates-Kahn & Jacobs, 1969) under construction with the Manufacturers Hanover Trust  Building(4 New York Plaza. Carson, Lundin & Shaw, 1968) and excavation works for future 2 New York Plaza (Kahn & Jacobs, 1971) and 55 Water Street (Emery Roth & Sons, 1970-1972) buildings. Above are Art Deco’s City Bank Farmers Trust (Cross & Cross, 1931) and Cities Service (Clinton & Russell, 1932) towers with the modern 80 Pine Street (Emery Roth & Sons, 1960) and the cluster of new buildings under construction: 77 Water Street (Emery Roth & Sons, 1970), 95 Wall Street Building (Emery Roth & Sons, 1970), 100 Wall Street (Emery Roth & Sons, 1969) y and 130 John Street (Emery Roth & Sons, 1970). Next East River’s docks are First National City Bank (Emery Roth & Sons, 1968) y 120 Wall Street (Ely Jacques Kahn, 1930) buildings.

Photo: Ralph Amdursky.

Source: Hornby. “Photographing America. Know the Land and the People …through Photography”. New York. Crown Publishers, Inc. 1976.