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New York City for Architecture Lovers

Race to the Top: New York City Architecture You Must See


New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky

A visit to New York City means a chance to see some of the most iconic buildings in the world; think the usual famous suspects like the Empire State Building, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Rockerfeller Centre. It’s also an opportunity to see architecture of a different kind; gorgeous diamond jewelry in NYC diamond district jewelry stores such as Shimansky

 

If you are wondering about the best store to buy diamond jewelry and where to find customised diamond jewelry we invite you to visit the Shimansky showroom located on 5th Avenue, Manhattan’s opulent shopping Mecca. We have an iconic selection of diamond jewelry for women as well as men’s diamond jewelry for sale. Tip: located in Midtown near the city’s tallest building the Empire State (350 5th Ave, between 33rd and 34th Streets), we suggest you see two examples of stellar New York design in one neighbourhood visit.

 

New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky  


Best Laid Plans


Before your start hitting the pavements, plan your walking tour neighborhood by neighborhood. If you choose to navigate Manhattan’s famous grid system of conveniently interconnecting streets on foot, it means you can fully enjoy the splendour of all the architecture around you. You probably can’t see everything in one short stay, so some tough choices need to be made: The Upper East Side alone is home to a dozen world-class institutions. However, as the city is tiny in geographical size (just 24 square metres), dividing your time up by seeing the sights according to location is an effective way of seeing as much as possible, especially if you’re pushed for time. We suggest you start Downton (where Manhattan began) and immerse yourself in the cultural richness of its immigrant history. 


 New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky


One: Meet Lady Liberty


The colossal – and sole - occupant of Liberty Island stands at 92 metres from her base to the tip of her gold-leaf torch. She’s a real whopper; her nose alone is well over a metre long. Getting up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty means visiting Battery Park, itself a location rich in architectural history. On the edge stands Castle Clinton, one of several forts built to defend New York Harbour against attacks by the British in the War of 1812. Here you can buy your ticket, and once you’ve boarded the ferry, think about this: a half-mile across the harbour is Ellis Island and this forms the gateway where over 12 million people have entered the United States of America between 1892 and 1954. This means that most likely all those immigrants embarking on their new lives encountered the statue as they sailed through this channel. What they saw, a gift from France to America in 1886, is a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. She holds a torch and tablet upon which is inscribed the date of American Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776). Designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi with metal framework built by the renowned Gustave Eiffel, the head of the statue was displayed at the World's Fair in Paris in 1878, before she travelled to America.


 New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky


Two: Island Getaway


Under a kilometre from Lower Manhattan are the verdant commons and stately red-brick buildings of Governors Island. Evoking an Ivy League campus, this colonial New England village is a peaceful respite from the hustle of Downtown (a mere 700 or so metres behind you). A former military outpost, today the 172-acre island has blossomed into a recreational space. Check out the Hills, a topographic installation, comprising of four mounds, each offering Instagram-worthy views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. For history buffs, much of the island’s military architecture lives on as the Governors Island National Monument.


 New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky


Three: Take Me to Church


Wall Street, the den of capitalism located in Downtown, means seeing more than sky-scraping financial institutions. A visit to this section of southern Manhattan is also the chance to see the Gothic Revival spire of Trinity Wall Street (89 Broadway at Wall Street). The original burned down in 1776, and a second was demolished in 1839. The current version became the island’s tallest structure when it was completed in 1846. And, St. Paul’s Chapel (the church’s oldest satellite) is one of the finest Georgian structures in the US.


 New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky


Four: Fitting Tribute


The 9/11 Memorial (200 Liberty Street) is a space that honours those 2,983 people who were killed in the horrific attacks of 11 September 2001 and 26 February 1993. It is also a tribute to all those who risked their lives to save others. Situated within and surrounded by remnants of the original World Trade Center site, the largest space is Foundation Hall. Here you’ll see the slurry wall―a retaining wall originally built to hold back the Hudson River―and the remnants of cut-off box columns that once formed the exterior structure of the Twin Towers. The adjacent Oculus transportation hub is one of the most extraordinary modern architectural masterpieces in the city.


 New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky


Five: Pretty in the City


Next on your tour of Downtown, City Hall at City Hall Park (from Vesey to Chamber Streets, between Broadway and Park Row), is a chance not only to see the rotunda and splendour of the coffered dome, but collection of historical 19th-century political portraits and furnishings too.  Designed by French émigré Joseph François Magin and New Yorker John McComb Jr, imposing City Hall (with it’s fine Federal style) was completed in 1812.


 New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky

Six: The Village

Moving further north, the neighbourhood of Greenwich Village – and the site of Washington Square Park – has been an inspirational hub for bohemians for over a century. Now it’s one of the most pricey areas in the city and it’s leafy streets provide shade to the iconic brownstone townhouses synonymous with NYC. A stroll around this part of Manhattan means an opportunity to check out the AIA Centre for Architecture (between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets). And while on Bleecker (here you’ll find a historic row of Brownstones), make sure you take a turn up MacDougal Street and gaze at number 94, the former home of Bob Dylan.


 New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky


Seven: The Midtown Move


See as much of Midtown, a hub for the arts as well as commerce, in one big explore. Start by strolling the city’s new – and still evolving – public park, the High Line (from 14th Street). Built on a historic freight railway elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side, the project is a showcase for nature, art and design and a great way of seeing this part of the city from a vantage point. From here, it’s easy to venture to the iconic Flatiron Building (at 175 5th Ave, between 22nd and 23rd Streets), the world’s first steel-frame skyscraper standing at 22-stories with a Beaux Arts edifice clad in white limestone and terracotta. Next, we suggest you head up towards the New York City Public Library (Fifth Ave at 42nd Street) as – fun fact – the library was the largest marble edifice in the US upon its completion in 1911, following a lengthy 16 years of construction. Afterwards, see the Rockfeller Centre (from 48th to 51st Streets, between 5th and 6th Avenues) which is considered an art-deco city-within-a-city, home to media giants such as NBC and of course, Radio City Music Hall. End-off your tour of Midtown, with something more contemporary, a visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Reopened in 2004 after a two-year renovation, based on a design by Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, MoMA displays some of the globe’s most impressive works from the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries.


 New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky


Eight: Park Life


No trip to NYC – especially if architecture is your passion – is complete without a visit to the locals getaway-from-it-all, Central Park. Completed in 1873 by landscape designer Frederick Law Olmstead and architect Calvert Vaux, their brief was to take a vast track of rocky swamp land and transform it into a rambling oasis of lush green. The park’s highlights include the whimsically-imagined 1870 Gothic Revival Diary (at 65th Street), Friedsam Memorial Carousel and the Trump Wollman Rink (at 62nd Street), which double as a small children’s amusement park. Also see Belvedere Castle (a restored Victorian folly) at 79th Street. It’s the park second-highest peak, so think incredible views of the city plus an excellent picnic spot.


 New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky


Nine: Fine Art


 The Upper East Side is the “Museum Mile” (at 5th Ave from 82nd to 104th Streets) and for good reason. It’s lined with dozens of beautiful buildings steeped in history and dedicated to preservation of art, culture and antiquity. One not to miss is the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 5th Ave at 82nd Street), known as the mother of all Manhattan Museums. The neoclassical façade can be unnerving, but this grand dame (the MET was opened in 1880) is actually very easy to navigate and is well worth a visit, especially for its blockbuster temporary shows. Another landmark building to highlight on your itinerary is the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum (1071 5th Ave, between 88th & 89th Streets). It’s a dramatic structure dating back to the late ‘30s and is home to an impressive collection of art and daring short-term shows.


 New York City for Architecture Lovers: 10 Things to See and Do| Shimansky


Ten: All That Glitters


A precious memento of your Manhattan visit is a piece that’ll last a lifetime. For this, look no further than luxury diamond jewelry and a peruse of NYC diamond district jewelry stores.  The 47th street diamond district emerged in the 1920s when downtown jewellers began looking to escape the high rents of the Financial District. They relocated to Midtown Manhattan and today some of the world’s luxury diamond jewelry brands like Shimansky can be found in the vicinity. Choose from a striking array of diamonds and jewelry including original diamond jewelry, engagement rings and 10 year anniversary diamond jewelry. Men’s pieces feature prominently too with men’s diamond jewelry for sale. Happy shopping!