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The Empire State Building dominates the manhattan skyline
© Art Today

The Empire State Building at 102 floors was once the world's highest skyscraper.

New York City Skyscrapers

New York City and especially Manhattan Island are renown for their concentration of high-rise buildings, commonly known as "the skyscrapers". The downtown business district on Manhattan Island was severely limited from expanding outward due to the Hudson River and the New York Harbor Basin, so it grew vertically. Since the end of the nineteenth century, tall buildings have been growing higher and higher on Manhattan Island. Today, there are more than 5,000 high-rise buildings crowded onto this limited piece of real estate. It creates one of the most dramatic skylines of any city in the world.

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building at 102 floors was once the world's highest skyscraper. This classic art deco structure, located on Fifth Avenue at 34th Street, was built in 1931 and is 1454 feet tall (443 meters) tall. You can visit the observation deck and open air promenade on the 86th floor for outstanding views of Manhattan at its very center. The observation deck is open every day from 8:00 AM until Midnight and until 2:00 AM during Summer weekends. Admission costs $18.00. For a small extra charge, you can also visit the observatory on the 102nd floor. You can purchase admission tickets in advance on this official Empire State Building web pages: www.esbnyc.com

Rockefeller Center

The complex of Buildings known as Rockefeller Center is located on Fifth Avenue at 50th Street. It contains the National Broadcast Systems television studios, a large entertainment venue known as Radio City Music Hall, an outdoor ice skating rink, and a collection of shops and restaurants. At the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 70 floors above Manhattan, is an observation deck known as "the Top of the Rock". It is open every day from 8 AM until Midnight. Cost of admission is $17.50. You can purchase admission tickets in advance on this official Top of the Rock web pages: www.topoftherocknyc.com

Tour Boat passes the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor © Mike Leco / USATourist.com
The most inexpensive way to get a great view is by taking a free trip on the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty and back.

The World Trade Center

Sadly, the World Trade Center Towers no longer dominate the skyline of lower Manhattan Island. On September 11, 2001, two separate passenger jets plunged into the towers causing massive destruction and fire. A few hours later both towers collapsed into heaps of rubble. It was determined that both jet airplanes had been highjacked by terrorists and used as weapons to destroy these buildings. Many people were killed in this catastrophe including hundreds of firemen, policemen and rescue workers.

Today, there is an empty space in the skyline where these two buildings once stood. There are plans to construct a memorial and some parks on the site, but controversy over the construction of a new skyscraper.

Rockefeller Center Plaza in New York City © NYC&Co
The complex of Buildings known as Rockefeller Center is located on Fifth Avenue at 50th Street.

The Best Views

If you want to get the best views of the New York City skyscrapers, there are several options. You can take a helicopter ride over the city which provides spectacular views of all of the skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty. Another option is to take one of the river boat excursions that circles Manhattan Island, New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. The most inexpensive way to get a great view is by taking a free trip on the Staten Island Ferry past the Statue of Liberty and back.

Liberty Helicopter Tours, New York City
Book a tour with Liberty Helicopter for an experience of a lifetime! You'll fly over New York City's most famous landmarks to get a bird's eye view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Central Park, Empire State Building and more. Every trip with Liberty is an unforgettable one. Book online today!
Written by: Mke Leco
Top Photo Credit: © William Fawcett
Photo Description: Panoramic aerial vista over the crowded cityscape, towering skyscrapers and busy streets of New York City.