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"Right from the start, the reader will realize that he is undergoing the expert ministrations of a man who understands New York and its infinite variety of constructions as few others do. . . . In fact, this is a book that does not chart the usual walking tours but outlines the esthetics that one might look for in the course of a Manhattan amble. Each item is its own little essay, written with as much attention to the literate architecture of his wordage as to the structural architecture of what he is looking at. He can put things together as you ...
"Right from the start, the reader will realize that he is undergoing the expert ministrations of a man who understands New York and its infinite variety of constructions as few others do. . . . In fact, this is a book that does not chart the usual walking tours but outlines the esthetics that one might look for in the course of a Manhattan amble. Each item is its own little essay, written with as much attention to the literate architecture of his wordage as to the structural architecture of what he is looking at. He can put things together as you may never have thought to. . . . There was something that was news to me on almost every page, if not in fact then at least in some new angle of observation. . . . If there is anything wrong with this book, it is that it will absorb you in reading when you might be out looking."
--Richard F. Shepard, The New York Chronicle
Revised, Updated, and Expanded
This brand new edition of the popular Architectural Guidebook to New York City details, the most recent changes to Manhattan's built environment, including modifications that reflect post September 11. Hundreds of entries are thoughtfully presented in the context of the architectural, historical, and cultural settings.
Author Francis Morrone is a lecturer and tour leader for the Municipal Art Society of New York, a nonprofit civic organization founded in 1893. His writings on architecture and New York history appear in The New Criterion, the City Journal, and other publications. He can be contacted through his World Wide Web site at http://home.sprynet.com/sprynet/fmorrone, where updates and corrections to the present book will be regularly posted.
Photographer James Iska, whose architectural photography has been exhibited all over the world and whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the Chicago Sun Times adn the Chicago Tribune, is currently on the staff of the Art Institute of Chicago.
When I told people I was writing an architectural guidebook to New York City, the inevitable response was "How will it differ from the AIA Guide?" This was a good question and easy to answer. The first edition of Norval White's and Elliot Willensky's AIA Guide to New York City, the guide with the imprimatur of the American Institute of Architects, came out in 1967. Updated editions arrived in 1978, 1988, and 2000. It is a dense, encyclopedic guide packed with information, insight, and wit. Of its kind, I doubt there is a better guide in the world. But its kind is that primarily of a reference book, albeit one that is inordinately pleasurable to read. It is a starting point for more-interpretive guidebooks. I readily admit that I would not even have considered writing my book if I did not have the AIA Guide close at hand.
In 1979, Paul Goldberger, then architectural critic for the New York Times, came out with The City Observed: New York, a leisurely, opinionated, interpretive guide covering only a fraction of the buildings in the AIA Guide. He never conceived of his book as an alternative to the AIA Guide, but rather as a supplement to it. The fact that City Observed remained in print for many years without being updated demonstrates the need for such a book. It seemed to me the time was ripe for a new, up-to-date guide along the lines of Goldberger's book, and rather than continuing to wait for Goldberger to update City Observed, I decided to write my own book.
The Financial District 1
Around City Hall 21
From the Battery to TriBeCa 51
Greenwich Village 73
The East Village 89
From Union Square to Kips Bay 113
From Herald Square to Murray Hill 135
Grand Central 149
Turtle Bay 175
Times Square 195
Fifth Avenue 207
From Columbus Circle to Sutton Place 247
Broadway in the Upper West Side 261
Central Park West 277
The Upper East Side 291
Yorkville and Carnegie Hill 313
Morningside Heights 327
Washington Heights and Harlem 343
Central Park 359
Downtown Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights 365
Park Slope and Prospect Park 379
Index for Specialists 397