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In 1754 a Church of England minister was made the first president of what was then known as King's College. After the Revolutionary War, it was renamed Columbia University. In 1897 this Ivy League school moved to its present location; the notable faculty has included over 50 Nobel laureates. Notable buildings include the Low Library, which is built in a Roman Pantheon styleit houses offices and the visitor center. Organized tours are arranged or visitors can take a brochure and look on their own.
New York's Grand Central Terminal, often inaccurately referred to as the Grand Central Station, is one of Midtown Manhattan's most resplendent architectural jewels and one of the busiest terminals in the world. Completed in 1913, the majestic Beaux-Arts beauty is richly embellished, its interiors a love affair with marble, while the ornamented facade is topped by The Glory of Commerce - a riveting sculpture that depicts Mercury, Hercules and Minerva overlooking the city from a lofty perch, the world's largest Tiffany-stained glass clock at their feet. Painted constellations arch above the iconic main hall, featured in any number of movies, its vaulted ceilings an awe-inspiring sight. Today, the building also houses chic shops and a dining concourse, alongside platforms that cater to commuter, intercity and rapid transport trains, attracting commuters and tourists in equal measure.
This massive cathedral, situated across from Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue is regarded as one of the largest Catholic cathedrals in the United States. With its two soaring 330-foot spires, St. Patrick's Cathedral is also one of the city's most spectacular architectural sights. Construction on the neo-gothic structure had started in 1850 and completed in 1878. Inside, it boasts of numerous altars and stained glass windows, and a giant organ with over 7,300 pipes. Services are held throughout the day, and many New Yorkers stop in for a moment of serenity in their otherwise hectic lives.
This memorial is dedicated to the devastating Great Irish Potato Famine of 1845 - 1852. The Famine resulted in nearly one million deaths in Ireland and forced countless others to emigrate to America, many of whom came to New York. The memorial is made of stones from all 32 counties of Ireland. It also uses native soil and vegetation straight from Ireland, as well as slabs of text separated by layers of Irish limestone from over 300 million years ago. The memorial also features an authentic 19th century Irish cottage.
Hamilton Grange National Memorial is the home of the famed statesman on the $10 bill, Alexander Hamilton. It was built in 1802, and unfortunately Hamilton only lived in the house for two years before he lost that fateful duel against Mr. Aaron Burr in 1804. In 1889, the home was moved to 287 Convent Avenue in order to conform to Manhattan's street grid, however the grange was moved again in 2006 to escape its claustrophobic confines on this avenue and to restore many of the original accoutrements. It now sits at 426 W. 141st St. (in St. Nicholas Park) and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark. People today can see the first floor of the house and learn more about the early 19th Century in the visitor's center.
Eldridge Street Synagogue is preserved as a historical site by the Eldridge Street Project. Since it's inception in 1887, the synagogue has been a symbol of architectural and historical preservation, and also of the way of life, customs and religious beliefs of the Judaism. The building itself is a beauty, with a Victorian touch to the interiors highlighted by painted murals and stained glass windows. It was the first religious site built by Ashkenazi, and today this famous place welcomes people from all backgrounds.
A shining beacon of freedom, Lady Liberty dominates the eponymous Liberty Island in New York, her copper-wrought form towering over the city's harbor in all its glory. French activist Édouard René de Laboulaye expressed solidarity with the United States on behalf of his nation, if and when the US decided to build a monument that would be emblematic of their independence. The Statue of Liberty thus was the creative culmination of French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and Gustave Eiffel and came to be an honorable offering from the nation of France to the United States. Designed to represent Libertas, a Roman goddess, Lady Liberty gazes proudly into the distance, her right torch-bearing arm outstretched toward the skies, while her left-hand holds a tablet inscribed with the date of United States' Declaration of independence. Over the years, the statue has not only instilled a sense of pride among hordes of Americans but has also been an uplifting sight for tens of thousands of immigrants who charted foreign seas in a bid to start life anew.
Soaring to a height of 1,454 feet (443.2 meters), this 102-story skyscraper held the title of the world's tallest for close to four decades after its completion in 1931. Despite being surpassed in height, the Empire State Building remains one of the United States' best-known and most iconic modern wonders. The building's Art Deco design is the work of the architect William F. Lamb, who drew up the plans over a mere two weeks using the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem as a template. Replete with stunning architectural details best showcased by the lavish lobby, the Empire State Building is a splendid jewel of the Art Deco variety. The highlights of the Empire State Building are its two observation decks, perched on the 86th and 102nd floors of the building. From here, awe-inspiring views of New York City await, the vista transforming from a sun-dappled, urban landscape by day to a glittering sea of lights by night. Often, the tower's lofty pinnacle is lit up in myriad colors to celebrate various special occasions and anniversaries throughout the year, accompanied by spectacular light shows that are visible for miles around.
This national monument in Lower Manhattan is the excavation site of over 400 African-Americans buried in the 17th and 18th Centuries during the era of slavery in the settlement of New Amsterdam. The bodies were discovered in 1991 during construction of a federal office building at 290 Broadway, which is now home to the monument's visitor center. There are an estimated 200 bodies still buried under the monument. The African Burial Ground Monument also functions as a memorial site, which was built in 2007. The memorial itself is located at the burial ground on the corner of Duane and Elk Streets.
Stretching across the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge is an architectural wonder. Connecting the island of Manhattan to Brooklyn, the suspension bridge with its Gothic towers and steel cables adds a unique silhouette to the city's iconic skyline. Completed in 1883, the bridge was the longest of its kind, measuring almost 1600 feet (487.68 meters). One of the city's most enduringly popular attractions, Brooklyn Bridge offers visitors some of the best views of the cityscape above the river's shimmering waters.
Ever wondered who was buried in Grant's Tomb? The General Grant National Monument a historical landmark is dedicated to Ulysses S. Grant, the Civil War general and United States president. Both the general and his wife are buried in the grandiose white marble structure, located next to the Hudson River in serene Riverside Park. The tomb underwent a renovation in 1997 for its centennial year. Despite its famous inhabitant, the monument is hardly ever crowded.
A short ferry ride from Lower Manhattan takes visitors to the serene and verdant Governors Island, where the city seems as if it is a world away. The island showcases its picturesque self during summers; in fact, it only opened to the public after 200 years of restricted military usage. The island affords some incredible views of it surrounding waterscape, Red Hook, Brooklyn, the Verrazano Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. The island is also home to some stirring historical sites like Castle Williams, Liggett Hall and the Admiral House, which are an escape into the island's past. Having played an integral role in the American Revolution, this island is a coastal paradise par excellence.