Spank, in commenting to an item below, linked to a striking image of Manhattan that I’ve not seen before:




I’m guessing it was taken from roof of River House at about 52nd Street, looking southwest, probably in the 1930s after the Empire State Building was completed.

Here’s that shot today from Google Earth:


New York 2


Both images feature a little-known architectural gem in the middle ground, just off centre right: The Beekman Tower at 49th and First.

The tower was designed by John Mead Howells and built from 1927 to 1929. Originally named Panhellenic House, it was used as a club and hotel for women who had belonged to national Greek-letter sororities, providing affordable housing for many women entering the workforce during the period.

Still from the great era of crafted deco towers, it’s a perfectly proportioned expression of its time:



Prior to 2013, you could take an elevator to the penthouse bar.  Embedded in the midtown skyline, it had a view unlike any other. Best remembrance: ordered up a martini, the piano player was interpreting some Sondheim, and there was a thunderstorm flashing through the midtown towers.  Didn’t get more Manhattan than that.

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