The Most Famous New York Skyscrapers

Since the first skyscraper was built in 1890 in New York, skyscrapers have become irrevocably linked to the city as a symbol of its power and prosperity. New York skyscrapers have been immortalized by many works of art and culture, with the city’s iconic skyline providing memorable backgrounds to movies and TV series such as Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” or “Friends“. Check out our list in order to find out if you know these facts about the most famous New York skyscrapers.

 Empire State Building


To call the Empire State Building famous would be an understatement, comparable to calling Bill Gates “rich”. The Empire State Building is not only one of most recognizable landmarks of New York City, it is also (according to a survey of Flickr photos) the world’s most photographed building. From the time of its completion in 1931 until the late seventies it was the city’s tallest building. It has 102 stories, reaching  the height of 1,454 feet, and is still the fifth tallest skyscraper in the USA and the 25th tallest building in the world. Its distinctive art deco tapered spire was featured in the movie “King Kong“. The building’s five observation decks, visited by 4 million visitors a year, have provided scenery for one of the most romantic scenes ever shot, in the movie “Love Affair”.

One World Trade Center (Formerly the Twin Towers)


A symbol of resurrection after the terrible 9/11 attacks destroyed the World Trade Center, the skyscraper has returned to dominate the New York skyline. Named identically to the North Tower of the original World Trade Center (completed in 1972), One World Trade Center was opened in Nov. 2014. Reaching a total height of 1,776 feet and with 102 stories, it is the tallest building in the Western hemisphere and the fifth tallest in the world. You can visit its observation deck on its top floor or the nearby National September 11 Memorial & Museum on the grounds of the original Twin Towers.

The Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building was completed a year before the Empire State Building, and until then it was the tallest building in the world. It is impossible to think of Manhattan without envisioning the Chrysler Building, whose stainless steel arches on its crown design sparkle from afar. The Chrysler Building features unique Art Deco design details, including corner ornamentation of eagles on radiator caps, a tribute to the automobile manufacturer.

30 Rockefeller Center

At the center of a complex of 19 buildings, that include Radio City Music Hall, Time-Life Building, and News Corporation/Fox News Channel headquarters, the skyscraper known as 30 Rock was built in 1932 and is a 70 story building of 872 ft. The building houses the headquarters of NBC and you can participate as an audience in one of the wildly popular shows “The Tonight Show” starring Jimmy Fallon, “Late Night” with Seth Meyers, and SNL. 30 Rockefeller Center is of course the venue of the comedy TV show “30 Rock” with Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin that finished its seven season run in 2013.

Other notable skyscrapers include the Condé Nast Building (4 Times Square), opened in 2000 and a good example of contemporary “green” (environmental) design, the Woolworth Building, home to the famous department store and well known for its Gothic style, and the skyscrapers of New York’s financial district on 70 Pine Street and 40 Wall Street (The Trump Building ).