35 Most Impressive Buildings in New York City

Explore a world where skyscrapers reach for the heavens and architectural masterpieces fill New York City’s skyline, leaving you in admiration.

Get ready to discover New York City’s most extraordinary buildings, each with unique stories and designs that contribute to the city’s irresistible charm.

Prepare for an extraordinary adventure in the city, where human creativity and engineering marvels soar. Stay alert as you explore this lively metropolis; each corner hides a secret ready to be unveiled.

1. Empire State Building

You will be amazed by the rich history and remarkable architecture of the Empire State Building.

Empire State Building

This well-known skyscraper stands tall in Midtown Manhattan, a symbol of New York City since its completion in 1931.

The building was imaginatively proposed by John Jakob Raskob, a prominent financier and businessman, back in 1929.

Approaching this impressive building on Fifth Avenue, stretching from 33rd to 34th Streets, you’re greeted by its remarkable Art Deco lobby, reflecting the artistic style of the era.

The Empire State Building, at 1,454 ft including its antenna, was the world’s tallest until 1971, surpassing other famous structures.

One thing that sets this building apart from others is its unique observatories. The 86th and 102nd floor observatories offer a breathtaking 360-degree open-air vantage point of Midtown.

2. One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center, also known as One WTC, is a symbol of hope and resilience in New York City, representing more than just architectural brilliance.

One World Trade Center

Approaching the iconic One World Trade Center, its striking height of 1,776 feet, symbolizing American independence year, captivates you. Inside, you can explore the One World Observatory.

The gleaming One World Trade Center, the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, houses top-notch restaurants, offices, and observation decks, offering more than meets the eye.

From the 100th-floor observation deck at One World Trade Center, enjoy a 360-degree city panorama and explore interactive exhibits detailing the World Trade Center’s history.

3. Chrysler Building

As you stroll through New York City, it’s impossible not to notice the iconic Chrysler Building. This magnificent, Art Deco-style skyscraper and breathtaking architecture will surely leave you in awe.

Chrysler Building

Designed by architect William Van Alen, the Chrysler Building was completed in 1930, making it one of New York City’s oldest and most iconic buildings.

Standing 1,046 feet tall, it briefly held the title of the world’s tallest building before the Empire State Building surpassed it in 1931.

Perched at East 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, the Chrysler Building, a roaring twenties icon in New York, flaunts terraced crowns, gargoyles, and eagles. These elaborate designs echo tycoon Walter Percy Chrysler’s lofty ambitions.

4. Rockefeller Center

When you step into the vibrant and iconic world of Rockefeller Center, you’ll immediately feel the magic of this architectural masterpiece.

Rockefeller Building

Nestled between 48th Street and 51st Street in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, this massive complex spans 22 acres and consists of 19 commercial buildings.

Rockefeller Center, commissioned by the Rockefeller family, was a monumental project during the Great Depression, providing much-needed work for New Yorkers.

With construction starting in 1931 and the first buildings opening in 1933, it became a symbol of hope and resilience

5. Flatiron Building

Explore the Flatiron Building, an iconic New York skyscraper known for its unique triangular shape. Since 1902, it has stood as a symbol of architectural innovation.

Flatiron Building

As you step closer, you’ll learn that the Flatiron Building sits on a triangular block formed by Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and East 22nd Street.

This magnificent creation was designed by architect Daniel Burnham, and its construction was financed by the George A. Fuller Company, a renowned construction firm.

The building was initially named The Fuller Building after the company, but the name Flatiron quickly gained popularity and stuck.

6. One Vanderbilt

Welcome to the magnificent world of New York City architecture! Today, you’re going to explore an iconic skyscraper, One Vanderbilt.

One Vanderbilt

Nestled at the corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, this stunning building is a marvel in Midtown Manhattan.

Designed by the talented architects at Kohn Pedersen Fox for developer SL Green Realty, One Vanderbilt opened its doors in 2020.

Reaching a staggering height of 1,301 feet (397 m) at its roof and flaunting a majestic spire of 1,401 feet (427 m) above ground, One Vanderbilt proudly stands as the city’s fourth-tallest building.

With the office listed at a whopping $312 per square foot – that’s $3.3 million a year! – it’s no surprise that One Vanderbilt is the priciest building in the city.

7. St. Patrick’s Cathedral

As you stroll through New York City, the majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one sight you won’t want to miss!

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Nestled between Madison Avenue, Fifth Avenue, 50th Street, and 51st Street, this towering neo-Gothic masterpiece will astonish you with its intricate architecture and rich history.

You’ll be mesmerized by the cathedral’s Flamboyant Gothic architecture, gleaming stained-glass windows, and meticulously carved spires.

Opened in 1914, the cathedral can seat 2,400 people, making it one of the most impressive churches in the city.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral has been the seat of the Archbishop of New York and a parish church for many years.

Renowned architect James Renwick Jr. designed this iconic building, drawing millions of visitors annually.

8. The Guggenheim Museum

As you wander the streets of New York City, you’ll come across many fascinating buildings that are sure to impress, but one that genuinely stands out is the Guggenheim Museum.

The Guggenheim Museum

Found on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, this unique work of architecture is known for its eye-catching, spiraling shape.

The museum is situated at 1071 Fifth Avenue between 88th and 89th Streets, making it an iconic location that’s hard to miss.

Designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim Museum first opened its doors in 1939.

9. The Woolworth Building

You find yourself wandering the streets of New York City, and you stumble upon an architectural treasure, the Woolworth Building.

MANHATTAN OFFICE VACANCY” by Pasa la vida is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

With its intricate neo-Gothic design, this majestic structure captures your attention and makes you pause. Built in 1913, it was once the tallest building in the world, standing at an impressive 792 feet.

Designed by architect Cass Gilbert, the Woolworth Building was commissioned by the wealthy entrepreneur Frank W. Woolworth for his thriving five-and-dime store empire.

As you admire the building’s ornate facade, you might appreciate the nickname it earned: the Cathedral of Commerce.

10. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

When you visit New York City, one of the must-see stops on your list should be the Metropolitan Museum of Art, also known as The Met.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Nestled in the heart of the city, this impressive Beaux-Arts building not only houses some of the most cherished pieces of art but is also an architectural marvel in itself.

Enter the doors, and you’re greeted by amazing works of art spanning various eras and cultures.

The Met boasts a collection of over two million art pieces, ensuring there is something for everyone, whether you’re an art aficionado or a casual visitor.

11. Time Warner Center

Welcome to the Time Warner Center, an architectural marvel that boasts a unique presence in New York City’s skyline!

Time Warner Center
Time Warner Center and CC” by Björn Söderqvist – Flickr.com is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Designed by the renowned architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merril, it’s not just a building – it’s a blend of contradictory approaches that come together to create something truly remarkable.

As you stroll through the bustling streets of the Big Apple, you’ll undoubtedly be drawn to this impressive structure, which is a mix of commercial and residential spaces.

Housing the headquarters of media giant Time Warner, the building’s eye-catching design is sure to capture your attention.

12. 432 Park Avenue Condominiums

As you walk through the bustling streets of New York City, one building stands out amongst the rest, and that’s 432 Park Avenue.

This mesmerizing skyscraper, located in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood, showcases a spectacular design that can’t help but catch your eye.

At 1,396 feet, this is the Western Hemisphere’s tallest residential tower, offering residents a chance to live above Manhattan’s skyline, away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

With its square-shaped design, 432 Park Avenue certainly stands out, and you’ll notice the elegant grid pattern that graces the exterior of the building as you gaze up to the sky.

With an entire floor of the building recently listed for $135 million, you can only imagine the extravagant features packed into each apartment.

13. Hearst Tower

You may be roaming around Manhattan, and suddenly, you find yourself struck by the sight of a magnificent building.

Hearst Tower
The Hearst Tower in Manhattan, New York” by o palsson is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

That’s the Hearst Tower, an architectural masterpiece located in Midtown Manhattan. With its unique design and sustainable features, it stands out among the concrete jungle.

The Hearst Tower, built at the intersection of 57th Street and Eighth Avenue, is home to media conglomerate Hearst Communications, housing many of its publications and communications companies.

Designed by renowned architect Sir Norman Foster, it features a dazzling diagrid structure, which creates an impression of diamonds glistening in the sun.

14. The Plaza Hotel

As you walk along Fifth Avenue, the stunning façade of The Plaza Hotel captures your attention.

Plaza Hotel

This iconic luxury hotel near Central Park has been a staple for lavish society affairs and blockbuster films for over 100 years.

The lobby is adorned in gold, black, and white, creating a sophisticated ambiance that will leave you in awe.

Although this seems like the original entrance, it was relocated from its original location on Fifth Avenue during the hotel’s renovation in 2008.

The original Plaza Hotel opened in 1890 but was replaced by the current one in 1907 after the turn of the century.

15. The New York Times Building

While exploring the architectural wonders of New York City, The New York Times Building is surely not to be missed.

New York Times Building

This impressive skyscraper, located at 620 Eighth Avenue, occupies the eastern side of the avenue between 40th Street and 41st Street. Nestled just a block west of Times Square.

As you stand before the magnificent structure, you’ll be amazed by its rectangular land lot that occupies 79,000 sq ft (7,300 m²).

This striking building is not just an architectural beauty; it’s functional and serves as the headquarters of The New York Times – a prominent international newspaper.

16. General Electric Building

In the heart of New York City, amidst the hustle and bustle of street vendors and yellow cabs, stands a marvel of art deco architecture – the General Electric Building.

General Electric Building
570 Lexington Avenue (General Electric Building) 002” by Leonard J. DeFrancisci is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

This skyscraper, a towering ode to the power of electricity, reaches skyward like a giant’s arm brandishing a fistful of thunderbolts.

The facade, etched with patterns of lightning bolts and adorned with ornate carvings, seems to crackle with unseen energy, as though the very stones were charged with a million volts.

The lobby, a space of marble and echoes, feels like a cathedral dedicated to the spirit of progress, with art deco motifs whispering tales of a bygone era when electricity was the newest magic.

As night falls, the building transforms. Its crown lights up, a beacon in the Manhattan skyline, reminding all who see it of the power and beauty of human ingenuity.

17. Carnegie Hall

You might have heard of the legendary Carnegie Hall, but have you ever wondered about its fascinating history and design?

Carnegie Hall
Carnegie Hall New York” by Tdorante10 is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Built-in 1891, this concert hall is not just a stunning example of architecture, but it also boasts a remarkable sound that has captivated audiences for over a century.

Its well-known location sits on the corner of Seventh Avenue between 56th Street and 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan.

The man behind the name, Andrew Carnegie, was a wealthy philanthropist who eventually gave away 90% of his vast fortune to various causes, such as education and art.

Despite having no prior experience in designing concert halls, architect William Burnet Tuthill successfully created the elegant and acoustically renowned Carnegie Hall.

18. Trump International Hotel and Tower

Trump International Hotel and Tower is a stunning building in New York City that you can’t miss.

Trum International Hotel and Tower

Located at 1 Central Park West, this remarkable high-rise offers breathtaking views of Central Park and the city skyline.

The building originally started as the Gulf and Western Building but is now known for its luxurious accommodations and amenities.

Staying at the Trump International Hotel and Tower means that you’ll experience exceptional services, like the exclusive Attaché service offered only to guests of Trump Hotels.

This personalized service ensures that all your needs are met with attention to detail, reflecting the warmth of a friendly environment.

19. The Sherry-Netherland Hotel

When you find yourself in New York City, one building that will certainly catch your eye is the luxurious Sherry-Netherland Hotel.

Sherry Netherland Hotel

This historic skyscraper, nestled on the Upper East Side near Central Park, has graced the city skyline since 1927. You’ll most definitely be impressed by its stunning architecture and its rich history.

Approach and observe the intricate 38-story facade, a blend of Renaissance and Gothic styles, masterfully crafted by architects Schultze & Weaver and Buchman & Kahn.

Famous society elites and world travelers have all been captivated by the Sherry-Netherland’s allure.

20. The Dakota Building

If you ever find yourself strolling through the Upper West Side of Manhattan, make sure to take a glance at the captivating Dakota Building.

Dakota Building
New York City” by aurélien. is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Located at 1 West 72nd Street, this cooperative apartment building brims with history and architectural elegance.

Henry J. Hardenbergh, the same architect who designed the iconic Plaza Hotel, worked his magic on the Dakota too. Built in 1884, it is considered New York City’s first luxury apartment building.

The Dakota has withstood the test of time, remaining one of the most desirable addresses in the city.

21. American Radiator Building

When you find yourself wandering in Midtown Manhattan, your eyes might catch a glimpse of the stunning American Radiator Building.

American Radiator Building
File:American Radiator Building at night.jpg” by Jorge Eduardo Rubies is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

The building’s enchanting design beautifully combines Gothic and Art Deco styles, making it one of the most impressive buildings in the city.

Don’t be surprised if you feel drawn in by the allure of the building’s 23-story black and gold tower. Completed in 1924, the American Radiator Building was designed by Raymond M. Hood.

This masterpiece introduced a new trend in skyscraper design, free from Beaux-Arts classical details that had previously dominated New York City’s skyline.

22. One57

One57 is a remarkable building that you simply can’t miss when you are exploring New York City’s skyline.

2017 One57 tower from Seventh Avenue” by Beyond My Ken is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Located on West 57th Street, this stunning skyscraper captures your attention with its unique and luxurious design.

Developed by Extell Development Company and designed by Pritzker-prize-winning architect Christian De Portzamparc.

The building features floor-to-ceiling windows that allow you to take in breathtaking and unobstructed views of Central Park and midtown Manhattan.

This awe-inspiring building was completed in 2013 and features a total of 124 luxurious units. You’ll be charmed by the fine details and extraordinary amenities that this high-rise has to offer.

23. Manhattan Municipal Building

In the heart of New York City, where the streets hum with the symphony of urban life, stands a marvel of architectural splendor – the Manhattan Municipal Building.

Manhattan Municipal Hall
Manhattan Municipal Building and Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse from Brooklyn Bridge” by Ken Lund is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

This towering edifice, an homage to the grandiosity of the city itself, rises like a monarch overseeing its realm.

Imagine, if you will, a castle crafted not for kings and queens of old, but for the bustling bureaucrats and civil servants who keep the city’s heart beating.

Its majestic façade, a blend of limestone and granite, glimmers in the sunlight, winking at the skyscrapers that surround it.

The building, a veritable hive of activity, buzzes with the daily comings and goings of those who serve the metropolis.

24. American Museum of Natural History

As you wander through the bustling city of New York, you’ll undoubtedly come across many remarkable buildings. One such architectural marvel is the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH).

American Museum of Natural History
American Museum of Natural History (Manhattan, New York, USA)” by t-mizo is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Derived from the idea of naturalist Albert S. Bickmore in 1861, this incredible institution will leave you in awe.

Now imagine yourself stepping into this iconic museum, which spans aspects of the natural world and is home to 33 million specimens!

It’s interesting to note that only 3% of these specimens are on display, and even that can be quite overwhelming.

One of the highlights you’ll come across is the 94-foot-long fiberglass replica of a female blue whale located inside the Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life.

25. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

The bustling streets of New York City are home to a marvelous architectural gem that you should not miss—the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
File:Metropolitan Opera House – Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, NY, USA – August 20, 2015 – panoramio (1).jpg” by Giorgio Galeotti is licensed under CC BY 3.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Located in the Lincoln Square neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, this 16.3-acre complex of buildings is a feast for the eyes and a testament to New York’s love for the arts.

As you walk through the Lincoln Center, you’ll be amazed by its stunning architecture and the extensive range of facilities that cater to various performing arts.

The center hosts five million visitors yearly and houses several prestigious art institutions, such as the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the Juilliard School.

26. New York Public Library

Whether you are an architecture lover or a passionate reader, the New York Public Library is simply one of the must-see buildings in the city.

New York Public Library

As you walk up the marble staircase, you can’t help but feel awed by the majestic lions that guard the entrance of this iconic landmark.

It is not just a library, but a proof of the city’s artistic spirit. The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building houses a vast collection of books along with some rare literary treasures that are worth exploring.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of New York City, this library offers a serene retreat, where you can momentarily escape from the noise outside and immerse yourself in the world of books.

27. Seagram Building

As you stroll along Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, you can’t miss the timeless elegance of the Seagram Building.

Seagram Building
Seagram Building” by Ken OHYAMA is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Designed by the renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in collaboration with Philip Johnson, Ely Jacques Kahn, and Robert Allan Jacobs, this modernist marvel stands tall at 515 feet (157 m) with 38 floors.

Meticulously crafted using structural steel, concrete, and bronze, the Seagram Building beautifully expresses simplicity, functionality, and proportionality.

One such feature is the restaurant, masterfully designed by Philip Johnson. Its interiors beautifully complement the clean lines and open spaces found throughout the building – a testament to Mies van der Rohe’s vision.

28. 150 Greenwich Street

When you find yourself in New York City, the sheer number of incredible buildings surrounding you is impossible to ignore.

One of these captivating architectural treasures is the 4 World Trade Center. This skyscraper is a towering piece of modern design, standing at an impressive 978 feet tall.

Nestled in Lower Manhattan, the building is part of the new World Trade Center site. The renowned architect Fumihiko Maki is responsible for the sleek design of this glass masterpiece.

150 Greenwich Street is the third tallest building on the World Trade Center campus, with 72 stories and 2.3 million square feet of office space.

29. 30 Hudson Yards

As you wander through New York City, you’ll come across some of the most impressive buildings. One such architectural marvel is 30 Hudson Yards.

30 Hudson Yards

This supertall skyscraper stands proud in Midtown Manhattan’s West Side, near Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, and NY Penn Station. J

30 Hudson Yards boasts an innovative design with a series of setbacks and ledges that relate it to the other towers in the area, making it an integral part of the Hudson Yards Complex.

Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), the building soars to a height of 1,270 feet (387 meters).

30. 8 Spruce Street

8 Spruce Street, a remarkable edifice in the heart of Lower Manhattan! Designed by the renowned architect Frank Gehry, this 76-story structure is sure to leave you in awe.

8 Spruce Street

As you gaze at this architectural marvel, you’ll notice the stainless steel cladding that looks like draped fabric, giving the building a unique appearance.

Going beyond residential spaces, this impressive establishment also hosts a public school and an ambulatory care center, proving to be versatile and accommodating.

As you explore 8 Spruce Street, picture yourself taking in the breathtaking skyline panoramas from the building’s spectacular vantage points.

31. United Nations Headquarters

United Nations Headquarters, is one of the most iconic buildings in New York City! Nestled on the Eastern shores of Manhattan, it represents a symbol of unity and collaboration among nations.

United Nations Headquarters

When you first approach the United Nations Headquarters, your eyes are drawn to the slender Secretariat Tower, a 39-story tall edifice that stands tall amidst a background of sky and water.

The General Assembly building’s distinctive facade is adorned with large panels of greenish glass that contrast beautifully with the surrounding concrete and metal surfaces.

As you continue exploring the UN complex, you’ll come across a thought-provoking gift from Italy – a bronze sculpture titled “Sphere within a Sphere” symbolizing the fragility and complexity of world peace.

Designed by an international team of architects, including Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, and Wallace K. Harrison, the United Nations Headquarters showcases architectural diplomacy at its finest.

32. Javits Center

Imagine strolling around New York City and stumbling upon an architectural marvel – the Javits Center, a massive convention center that hosts thousands of people for events, exhibitions, and conferences.

Javits Center
Javits Center” by edenpictures is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

As your eyes wander across this remarkable edifice, you’ll be captivated by its intricate design and impressive features.

You’ll appreciate the work of renowned architect James Ingo Freed, who designed it back in the 1980s (History Of New York’s Javits Center).

Named after a hardworking New York Senator, Jacob Javits, the center stands as a tribute to his unbounded energy and dedication.

33. Bank of America Tower

The Bank of America Tower is a dazzling example of modern architecture that you might come across while exploring New York City’s impressive skyline.

Bank of America Tower

Completed in 2009, this marvelously designed skyscraper is situated on the western side of Sixth Avenue between 42nd Street and 43rd Street, in the Midtown Manhattan neighborhood.

Designed by Cook + Fox Architects, the sustainable design embodies a myriad of eco-friendly features.

The glass curtain walls allow ample daylight into the interior spaces, reducing the need for artificial lighting.

34. Columbia University

Columbia University, located in New York City, has a stunning collection of architectural masterpieces to explore.

Columbia University

While wandering around the campus, you’ll quickly notice how the buildings showcase a variety of architectural styles, ranging from classic to modern.

One iconic building that captures your attention right away is Low Library, designed by Charles F. McKim.

Columbia’s campus also features cutting-edge modern architecture, such as the new Columbia Business School building.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro and FXCollaborative have designed this innovative, energy-efficient structure that showcases sleek and bold design elements.

35. Trinity Church

Located in New York City, is a historic and significant landmark, both in terms of its architectural beauty and its role in the city’s history.

Trinity Church

Established in 1697 under a charter granted by King William III of England, the church has been a witness to many of the pivotal moments in the development of New York City and the United States.

The present Trinity Church, completed in 1846, was designed by the renowned American architect Richard Upjohn in the Gothic Revival style.

Its distinctive spire, once the tallest structure in New York City, is a landmark in Lower Manhattan.

Trinity Church is not only architecturally magnificent but also historically significant in America. It has served as a worship site for prominent individuals, such as Alexander Hamilton, whose final resting place is in its cemetery.

My Thoughts on 35 Most Impressive Buildings in New York City

Exploring New York City unveils an array of impressive buildings, each with its unique story and style, making it a challenge to select just some highlights.

Embark on a whimsical journey through the Big Apple’s architectural scene, starting with the iconic 30 Rockefeller Plaza, ’30 Rock’, a 70-story marvel with an observation deck offering breathtaking views.

Nearby, the United Nations Headquarters, a postwar symbol of peace, showcases modernist designs along the East River.

These buildings are just a glimpse of the architectural splendor that awaits in this unforgettable city, inviting you to capture their essence and stories on a mesmerizing stroll through New York City’s Most Impressive Buildings.

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