Once the sprawling home of much of New York City’s Italian population, Little Italy has become more of a tourist destination than a residential neighborhood. Little Italy previously spread from Canal Street north to Houston, but now its borders are limited to about four city blocks. Cobblestone streets dominate the area and are commonly featured in movies.Beautiful six-story walk-up buildings that housed the neighborhood’s Italian community are plentiful.
Little Italy is worth visiting for delicious imported Italian groceries and to see the Old Street, as well as a chance to glimpse some of the restaurants and bars made famous by gangsters and members of the Rat Pack.
The most Lavish, Luxurious, Landmarked ,Pre-war building downtown. This Represents The Beaux Arts Edwardian Baroque Renaissance Revival architecture of 240 Centre Street, (the renowned former Police Headquarters built between 1907-1909). The architects for the building were Hoppin & Koen. It was the Police headquarters from 1909 to 1973, converted to Cooperatives in 1988. The Building became landmarked in 1978, listed on the national register of Historic Places in 1980.
The South Street Seaport (Pier 17) is a designated historic district, distinct from the neighboring Financial District. It features some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan, and includes the largest concentration of restored early 19th-century commercial buildings in the city. This includes renovated original mercantile buildings, renovated sailing ships, the former Fulton Fish Market, and modern tourist malls featuring food, shopping and nightlife, with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge.
From Pier 17, we took a cruise to get a close up view of the 3 bridges along the east river, the statue of liberty, and Manhattan / New Jersey skyline. The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883. At the time, it was the longest ever suspension bridge. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, and a New York City Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Just behind the Brooklyn Bridge, you can see the Manhattan Bridge that was opened in 1909. The Manhattan Bridge is a two-decked suspension bridge that carries automobile, subway and pedestrian traffic over the East River. Because it was conceived after the Brooklyn and Williamsburg Bridges, it was called Bridge No. 3 in its planning phase. The bridge is distinguished by an elaborate stone portal and plaza at its Manhattan end.
Here’s a vew of the three bridges: Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg. The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge designed by Leffert Lefferts and was opened in 1883. It was to support six railway tracks. Down the center are two elevated railroad tracks, still in use for the JMZ trains, that run into an underground station in Manhattan, originally a terminal, under the north side of the bridge plaza.
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 in the September 11 attacks. The site is being rebuilt with five new skyscrapers and a memorial to the casualties of the attacks. We can see two (shiny blue) towers still under construction towering over most of the city skyline. It became the tallest building in New York City on April 30, 2012, and is expected to be finished by 2013. A sixth tower is awaiting confirmation.
Fritz Koenig’s World Trade Center sphere sculpture — which once anchored the plaza between the Twin Towers and was dented but not destroyed on 9/11. It was pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Center that became an iconic symbol following the attacks. Although it remained structurally intact, it had been visibly damaged by debris from the airliners that were crashed into the buildings and from the collapsing skyscrapers themselves. It is currently displayed in Battery Park.
The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886, designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.
The true color of the Statue of Liberty before patination was a shiny reddish brown color. She is coated with a layer of copper, which turns a blue-green with age due to chemical reactions between metal and water. This process is known as patination and occurs with most copper when it’s placed outside.
The familiar octagonal Colgate clock, facing Manhattan, dates back to 1924 when it was set in motion on December 1 by Jersey City’s Mayor Frank Hague. Located on the former site of Colgate-Palmolive & Company, it is a reminder of the time when factories dominated the Jersey City’s waterfront. The clock’s design was inspired by the shape of a bar of Octagon Soap, first manufactured by Colgate as a laundry cleanser. Colgate clock at bottom left corner below.
The surface of the clock is 1,963.5 square feet and 50 feet in diameter. The minute hand is 25 feet, 10 inches long; the hour hand is 20 feet long. The timepiece can be adjusted and is maintained to stay within one minute of accurate time. There was a small master clock at Colgate that was checked against the US Naval Observatory in Washington, DC. The clock’s mechanism is like that of a traditional wall clock with weights and wheels but is powered by twenty-eight large-volt batteries that are recharged.