New York City Architecture Tour

by Rakks | June 19th, 2012

Here at Rakks, we’re always interested in architecture and structural art, and we like to give due praise to designers and architecturally significant buildings when we get the chance. So it’s time for another Architecture Tour! This time around, Rakks is off to the Big Apple. After all, New York City is the concrete jungle, home to some of the most famous skyscrapers in the world, and is probably the most popular tourist stop in the entire country. So you can understand why, this week, Rakks is in such an “Empire State of Mind”.

On that note, the first stop on this tour is the legendary Empire State Building. Located at 350 Fifth Avenue, this monumental building was constructed in 1931. Standing at 102 stories tall, it was designed by William F. Lamb and his firm, Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. When asked his vision for the famous structure, Lamb reportedly replied, while standing a pencil on end, “How high can you make it so that it won’t fall down?”

Empire State Building

Next up is another National Historic Landmark, one of the most famous bridges in the country: the Brooklyn Bridge, completed in 1883. The bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn over the East River and is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the country. What you might not know is the structure was a father-son project: it was designed by John Augustus Roebling. After he died of injuries from a docking accident (an arriving ferry crushed his toes at the dock and he contracted tetanus), the bridge was finished by his son, Washington Augustus Roebling.

Brooklyn Bridge


St. Patrick’s Cathedral, on Fifth Avenue between 50th street and 51st, was designed by James Renwick, Jr. and William Rodrigue. Completed in 1879, it’s the largest Neo-Gothic style Catholic cathedral in the country. The building was influenced by French design themes and the Gothic aesthetic, with its tall spires and pointed arches. When construction first started, the site was located in area known for slaughter house and cattle yards, which gave it an unsavory reputation.

Saint Patrick's Cathedral


How can we give an architectural tour without stopping by the Statue of Liberty? The famous beacon of acceptance and liberty was a gift from the French in 1886, sculpted by Auguste Frederic Bartholdi and engineered by Gustave Eiffel (famous for his Parisian tower). Lady Liberty stands 46.5 meters tall (on top of a 46.9m pedestal) and sports a spiked halo, a torch, and a tablet commemorating the Declaration of Independence.

The statue wasn’t always green; it’s made almost entirely of copper. Over time, copper oxidizes, forming a blue-green patina; you can see this transformation first-hand, in a penny rattling around in your pocket! Until 1902, the statue’s torch served as a beacon of light for passing ships. The statue as a whole was fully restored in the late 1980’s.

Statue of Liberty


While vising the best of New York’s architectural masterpieces, you might want to take a piece of the city home with you. Rakks products are in many NYC universities, corporate buildings, and are featured in several interesting and relevant retail locations.

One of these locations is the Tavern on the Green, right in Central Park in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. An historic restaurant since 1934, it was closed in 2010 and turned into a gift shop, designed by the New York City Department of Design and Construction, with design architect Sueyan Lee Kim. Rakks wall-mounted shelving was used to help showcase the store’s apparel, using PC2 poles and L-brackets.

Tavern on the Green


Stop by the Museum of Modern Art to enjoy classic modern and cutting edge works of art. The museum has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world. The museum’s collection offers an unparalleled overview of modern and contemporary art. The range of art includes works of architecture and design, drawings, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist’s books, film, and electronic media.

Across the street is the MOMA Design Store, which offers a sophisticated collection of design objects, gifts, jewelry, personal accessories, furniture, and lighting – including many items represented in the Museum’s design collection.

Rakks adjustable shelving was a good fit for such a modern atmosphere.

MoMA Design Store

We hope you enjoyed our architecture tour of New York City. We’ll be sure to visit again, as it’s impossible to cover every Rakks location in one post. If you’ve seen any Rakks products you would like in your next architectural or design project, please contact us and we’d be happy to work with you. Be sure to Like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter.

Photo credit: NYC Architecture, Hipmunk Blog, FlickRiver

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