Of all the cities in the USA, I have more iconic paintings of New York architecture than any other location. That’s not too surprising when you consider that there are probably more recognizable American icons in NYC than any other city and famous landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge immediately come to mind.
In this article I include my six New York City iconic paintings!
History of New York City
But first a little history of this great city. It was given its name in 1664 when the British seized New Amsterdam from the Dutch. The population of New York City grew larger and more diverse over the next century and by the 1800s New York was one of the nation’s most important ports.
In the 1840s and 50s increasing numbers of immigrants from Germany and Ireland, and Southern and Eastern Europe, changed the face of the city. They settled in distinct ethnic neighborhoods, started businesses, joined trade unions and built houses of worship. In 1895, Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island and Brooklyn — all independent cities at that time — voted to “consolidate” to form a five-borough “Greater New York.”
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most recognizable marvels of American engineering and it’s an iconic sight for those in New York City. The bridge (opened in 1883) spans the distance between Manhattan and Brooklyn over the East River. The bridge’s suspension towers were built in the Gothic Revival style. They’re 278 feet tall and built from granite, limestone and cement.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m in the city is cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot. The pedestrian walkway is elevated above vehicular traffic and the views are brilliant. It can take about 25-30 minutes if you’re a commuter rushing across the bridge to work… but if you’re someone who always marvels at the views of New York City, it takes about an hour to make the crossing. The length of the bridge is about 1.3 miles! Pretty impressive — especially when you consider that work on the bridge began before the lightbulb was even invented!
The Brooklyn Bridge opened on May 24, 1883. Thousands of residents of Brooklyn and Manhattan Island turned out for the dedication ceremony, which was presided over by President Chester A. Arthur and New York Governor Grover Cleveland. With its two stately towers and unprecedented length, the Brooklyn Bridge was named the “eighth wonder of the world.” Built by hand (and blood, sweat and tears), the bridge is a symbol of American ingenuity and tenacity.
Empire State Building
Located in Midtown Manhattan, NYC, the Empire State Building is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper which was designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon. Its name is derived from “Empire State”, the nickname of the state of New York and it was built from 1930 to 1931.
The Plaza Hotel, NYC
One of America’s most acclaimed hotels, The Plaza opened its doors in October 1907 amid media reports describing it as the greatest hotel in the world. Located at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, the French Renaissance-inspired chateau-style building was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh. The Plaza has hosted notable performers, famous guests and historically significant meetings and events over the past century. I was commissioned to create this portrait of The Plaza by a client. She gave it to her husband as a 50th anniversary gift to commemorate where they spent their honeymoon.
Central Synagogue NYC
This painting of Central Synagogue in Midtown Manhattan is part of my “Architectural Fusion” series which contrasts old and new architecture.
Greek Synagogue, NYC
Wedged between typical NYC buildings on the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, Kehila Kedosha Janina is a synagogue on Broome Street between Allen and Eldridge Streets. It was built in 1925-27 and is now the only Romaniote rite synagogue in the Western Hemisphere.
Little Church Around the Corner NYC
The Church of the Transfiguration, and more commonly known as the Little Church Around the Corner, is an Episcopal church located at East 29th Street, in the NoMad neighborhood, between Madison and Fifth Avenues in Manhattan, New York City.
I hope you have enjoyed my mini-tour of some of the best spots New York City has to offer!
Ciao for now,