Manhattan architectural gems

Strolling the streets with eyes wide open (always a good idea) is a sure way for New Yorkers to discover yet another treasure in the city’s landscape.  The 69th Regiment Armory, built 1904-06, still houses soldiers as well as an arena with thousands of seats on Lexington Avenue and 25-26 Streets.  

The Public Theater in Cooper Square, built in the 19th century, was designated a New York City landmark and saved from demolition in 1965 — a situation similar to that of Grand Central Terminal during the 1970s, shortly after the Pan Am Building (now Met Life Building) cast a shadow over it from the north and before the Commodore Hotel gave way to the Grand Hyatt just east, under the watch of the omnipresent Chrysler Building.

Between Madison and Park Avenues and 24-25 Streets sits Eleven Madison, formerly the Metropolitan Life North Building.  Legend has it that the polygonal-shaped structure was designed to be the world’s tallest building before the stock market crash of 1929 and ensuing depression.  Its 30 stories and 30 elevators are now primarily used by Credit Suisse.

Color is optional when admiring some of the architectural gems of Manhattan, as the 1979 Woody Allen movie named after the New York City borough illustrates.