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9 projects for 9 years

Classic Harbor Line

9 projects for 9 years

NYC Skyline Sightseeing

In honor of AIANY and Classic Harbor Line’s ninth season of architectural boat tours, AIANY guides voted on their favorite projects from each of the past nine years. With so many dazzling buildings featured on the architecture tour, this was no easy task!  Join AIANY and Classic Harbor Line this spring and see if your favorites made the list.


2010: 8 Spruce Street, Financial DistrictNYC Architecture Tour

Still the tallest residential rental building in New York City, 8 Spruce Street is one of two projects by Frank Gehry and Partners featured on the tour. It’s Gehry’s first skyscraper, and it has redefined the downtown skyline. We think the façade’s characteristic stainless steel and furrowed surfaces are particularly mesmerizing from the water.








2011: Jane’s Carousel, Brooklyn Bridge ParkNYC Architecture Tour

Over the course of 25 years, Jane Walentas painstakingly restored this 1922 carousel by hand in her studio in DUMBO. She hired her favorite architect, Pritzker Prize-winning Jean Nouvel of France, to create this jewel box to house the carousel, now installed between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Though it may appear delicate, in 2012 it successfully withstood the surge from Hurricane Sandy. 



2012: Four Freedoms Park/ FDR MemorialImage of the Four Freedoms Monument on Roosevelt Island

Originally designed in 1972 by the esteemed architect Louis I. Kahn, this park and memorial to FDR’s famed “Four Freedoms” speech was finally completed posthumously just one week before hurricane Sandy struck in 2012. Located at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, the park has become one of New York’s most memorable urban spaces.



2013: 4 World Trade CenterPassing byBuildings in lower Manhattan on a NYC Architecture Tour

The second tower to be completed in the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site, 4 World Trade was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki. We’re especially moved by the minimalist glass tower’s quiet deference to One World Trade Center. Look for its immediate neighbor, 3 World Trade Center, designed by Sir Richard Rogers of London



2014: Governors Island ParkPassing by the The battery on Governors Island aboard a NYC Architecture Tour

Located opposite Ellis and Liberty Islands, Governors Island functioned as a military outpost for over 200 years. Today, it has been transformed into a new public park and cultural mecca, anchored by its iconic three Hills at the southern tip. We appreciate the way West 8 Landscape Architects’ design has created a new communal backyard for the city. If you haven’t been to Governors Island, the view from the water may entice you after it opens again on May 1.


2015: Spring Street Salt ShedBuildings along the Hudson River aboard a NYC Architecture Tour

Resembling the faceted makeup of salt crystals, the design of this striking utilitarian structure by Dattner Architects and WXY Architecture directly mimics its purpose. The Spring Street Salt Shed actually stores 5,000 tons of winter salt for the Department of Sanitation New York. It has won numerous architecture awards, and is one of our favorites on the tour. The adjacent service building was also designed by the same team.



2016: It was a tie!

It’s hard not to recognize these two instant icons added to the Hudson River waterfront. 


Via 57 West A picture of the Via 57 West building from a NYC Architecture Tour
Called a trapezoid or hyperbolic parabola by some, Via 57 West is described by Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group as a marriage between a courtyard building and a skyscraper: or a “courtscraper”, if you will. It contains over 700 rental apartments; note how the building’s its striking geometry unfolds as the boat passes.




56 Leonard StreetSeeing Funky Buildings in the NYC Skyline aboard a NYC Architecture Tour
By contrast, the upper penthouses of the luxury condominium tower at 56 Leonard Street in TriBeCa are characterized by distinctive offset glass boxes: no wonder Herzog & de Meuron’s tower has acquired the nickname “Jenga Block Tower.” The unique view from the water of this icon is unsurpassed, and not to be missed!  Look for nearby 180 Leroy Street in the West Village nearing completion also by this Swiss team of architects.








2017: American Copper BuildingsPassing by the Cooper Building and the Empire State building on a NYC Architecture Tour

These unusual leaning twin towers by SHoP Architects on the East River gesture to each other in a playful and unmistakable way that has earned them the nickname the “dancing buildings.” The sky bridge connection contains the resident amenities such as the fitness center and a swimming pool.  Keep an eye on the emerging Domino Sugar site across the river for more fanciful residential buildings by this architect.







Join us on an AIANY Architecture Tour this spring and see these and other landmarks, and discover some of your own new favorites!


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