NYC's Most Famous Skyscrapers

When you think about New York City, you probably can’t help but to visualize its famed skyline. There’s no city on the planet quite like NYC, and Manhattan’s skyscrapers have a lot to do with that. Rounded up below are the city’s most famous skyscrapers, each of which should be added to your NYC bucket list. It’s one thing to admire a building from afar, and it’s an entirely other thing to step foot within its mesmerizing architecture.

Famous NYC Skyscrapers: Empire State Building (Midtown West)

Empire State Building

Image: Johannes Martin/Flickr

The Empire State Building offers 360-degree views of New York City from its 86th and 102nd observatories, and with the inclusion of the building’s spire, this skyscraper stands at 1454 feet. Along with being one of the city’s most frequently recognized buildings amongst tourists, the Empire State Building also serves New York locals on a nightly basis thanks to the tower’s lighting which changes daily and coordinates itself with holidays, commemorations, and all sorts of local, national, and world events. If there’s one building you can pick out of the New York City skyline, it’s likely going to be this one. 350 5th Ave., 212-7736-3100,

Famous NYC Skyscrapers: One World Trade Center (Financial District)

One World Trade Center

Image: Anthony Quintano/Flickr

Completed in 2014, One World Trade Center is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and the sixth tallest building in the world. This 1,776-foot skyscraper was  first lovingly known as the “Freedom Tower”, and now offers the highest observation deck, One World Observatory, in all of New York City. The magazine empire Condé Nast is currently housed within the building, as well as ONE Dine restaurant, set on the 101st floor mezzanine. The One World Trade Center stands as a center point in the World Trade Center complex that is also home to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. 1 World Trade Ctr., 844-696-1776,

Famous NYC Skyscrapers: 30 Rockefeller Plaza (Midtown West)

30 Rockefeller Plaza

Image: Eric Lumsden/Flickr

30 Rockefeller Plaza makes up the centerpiece of Rockefeller Center. The building has been nicknamed 30 Rock, though it is officially titled the Comcast Building. 30 Rockefeller Plaza is a whopping 850 feet high, and is famous for housing NBC Studios within its walls. Top of the Rock, an observation deck that reopened in 2005, has also gained the building more popularity. Finally, last but certainly not least, 30 Rockefeller Plaza is home to the Rainbow Room, which at one point was the highest elevated restaurant in the United States. 30 Rockefeller Plz., 212-664-4444,

Famous NYC Skyscrapers: Chrysler Building (Midtown East)

Chrysler Building

Image: Tom in NYC/Flickr

The Chrysler Building is a clear reflection of the 1920s and 1930s eras, which seems fitting, considering that the skyscraper was built between 1928 and 1930. The building has an Art Deco-inspired façade, and many contemporary architects consider the Chrysler Building to be one of the “finest buildings in New York City.” Standing at 1,046 feet tall, this skyscraper stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly a year before the Empire State Building was completed in 1931. It now is tied in fifth place with The New York Times Building for New York City’s tallest skyscraper. 405 Lexington Ave., 212-682-3070,

Famous NYC Skyscrapers: Hearst Tower (Midtown West)

Hearst Tower

Image: Maximilian Goldmann/Flickr 

While not the tallest building on this list, the Hearst Tower is still one of the most iconic because of its unique design. Completed in 2006 (the original Heart headquarters on the ground floor was turned into a landmark), architect Norman Foster designed this 46-story tall building with concave, triangular windows and an all glass and steel exterior. The Hearst Tower stands at 597 feet tall and serves as the headquarters of the Heart Corporation, housing a plethora of big name publications, including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Marie Claire, and Harper’s Bazaar. 300 W. 57th St., 212-649-2000,

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