In a city where we are constantly chasing the newest trends, sometimes it can be nice to look back too. Here is our list of favorite historical landmarks that truly make New York, New York.
Lower East Side
The Lower East Side is one of the oldest neighborhoods in city and has been a home to countless new immigrant communities from all over the world. The neighborhood has a number of historic churches, synagogues and Buddhist temples, as well as famous Polish and Ukrainian restaurants. The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, an 1863 building that housed 6000 new immigrants holds guided tours about the immigrant experience in New York. Edgar Allen Poe is said to have attended St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, the historic 19th Century Greek Revival Church. And no visit to the LES would be complete without a visit to Katz’s Deli.
The Tenement museum is located at 97 Orchard Street. Katz’s Deli is located at 205 East Houston Street. St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church is located at 290 Henry Street.
Grand Central Terminal
Spanning 44 acres, 33 miles of train track and 44 platforms, Grand Central is the largest train station in the world. At the turn of the century the old Grand Central Station was demolished and after 6 years of planning and 10 years of building, Grand Central Terminal welcomed 150,000 visitors on a Sunday in 1913. The Beaux-Arts style building is a national historic landmark and many elements of its construction and design represent trailblazing firsts. Grand Central is also full of notable objects and art pieces. The clock outside the station is the world’s largest example of Tiffany glass and the opal clock in the main terminal is estimated to be worth up to $20 million. A secret platform under the station was once used to give FDR’s secret access to his limousine to the Waldorf-Astoria, in order to hide his constricted mobility due to polio from the public. Grand Central Terminal has been home to art galleries, a museum, a movie theater, a hotel, countless offices and CBS headquarters, however, the terminal was immortalized by the movie North by Northwest.
Grand Central is located at Park Avenue and 42nd Street.
The Dakota Apartments on the Upper West Side date back to 1884. The Renaissance-style building was designed by lauded Plaza Hotel architect Henry J. Hardenbergh. Past residents include composer Leonard Bernstein, actresses Lauren Bacall and Judy Garland and playwright William Inge. The Dakota’s most famous resident is undoubtedly John Lenon, whose murder occurred just in front of the building. Round out your trip to the Dakota with a visit to his memorial in Central Park’s Strawberry Fields.
The Dakota is located at the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West.
Statue of Liberty
A gift from France, the Statue of Liberty is seen as a symbol of freedom and democracy throughout the world. Although the national monument is 125 years old, today there is new incentive to visit the Statue of Liberty. Last summer, the iconic crown was reopened to the public for the first time since September 11th. Visitors are now able to ascend the 354 steps to take in the breathtaking view of the city. We recommend eating a power bar first. Or 5.
The Statue of Liberty is located on Liberty Island in Lower New York Harbor.
The Players, known as “The Players Club” was founded by famed Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth. After his actor brother John Wilkes assassinated President Lincoln, the reputation of actors was uh…understandably tarnished. In an attempt do reinstate their place in society, Edwin founded the club to encourage mingling among thespians, other artists and other men from the professions. The Players Club membership list reads like a laundry list of the city’s talented and famous. It includes writers Mark Twain, Eugene O’Neill, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, Edward Albee and Arthur Miller, performers Harry Belafonte, Carol Burnett, Humphrey Bogart, Al Pacino, Morgan Freeman and Christopher Plummer, news anchor Walter Cronkite and composer John Philip Sousa, who was the club’s chess tournament champion in 1917. Today, membership is still available only at the recommendation of current members.
The Players is located at 16 Gramercy Park.