Journalistic Essays about New York Architecture and History

Journalistic Essays about The NYC

The New York State is considered to be the twenty-seventh most extensive, seventh most densely populated, and fourth most populous state in the United States. The state has borders with Pennsylvania as well as with New Jersey to the south, and with Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts to the east. In 2015, the New York State had an estimated population of approximately nineteen point eight million residents (Peters). The governance of the state is performed in the New York City (NYC), which is the most populous city in the United States. The NYC is also considered to be the most economically vibrant city in the country. The following paper is a summation of five journalistic essays featuring a discussion of Governors Island, Grand Central Station, The High Line, Chelsea Market, Jane’s Carousel, and the renowned Christopher Park, Sheridan Square.

Governors Island

Governors Island is situated in the Upper New York Bay, and it measures approximately one hundred and seventy-two acres in size (National Park Service). It is also positioned at an estimated seven hundred and thirty-two meters away from the southern tip of Manhattan Island (National Park Service). The Buttermilk Channel separates it from Brooklyn — it is a major landmark in the state of New York, since it is where the very first settlers of Dutch from New Amsterdam set their camp. Governors Island has been in use all through New York’s history. For instance, at one time, it was used as the island of the Royal Governor of British in the New York State, as a military base during the revolution, as a coast guard, and an army’s base. Today, the island is a major tourist attraction destination, enjoyed by thousands of visitors and locals who wish to engage in various recreational activities such as biking, using free bike rentals.

The Colossus of New York

The Colossus of New York is a publication that illustrates an evocation of the city in the United States that never sleeps. The publication’s inner and outer landscapes portray a series of personal memories, vignettes, and meditations. The publication conveys the long-time residents’ thoughts and feelings with an uncanny immediacy. It also conveys the newcomers’ dreams of making the city their home by discussing those people who have conquered the challenges as well as those who have struggled against its cruelties.

Whitehead writes about the everyday life events, places, and people that make up the New York City. He places a special focus on the life of commuting people — thousands of them, who come in and out of the boroughs of Manhattan by bus every working day. In the publication, the author also illustrates the major landmarks in the city, such as the Coney Island amusement park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Broadway. He also portrays the images of joggers, people attending picnics, and children who enjoy kite flying in the Central Park, all of which enjoy a break from the regular stress of the big city.

Nonetheless, the author demonstrates both love and hate relationship with the New York City, which is also his original city of birth. In his publication, he describes everything, including the drug dealers’ life, the pedestrian foot traffic, grimy sidewalks, and loud-mouthed mobile phone users. Nevertheless, Whitehead looks beyond the city’s surface, like peering into a pool of water in order to portray the inner being of the city. This way, his admiration and amazement caused by the glorious, crowded, fast-paced city, as well as by its dirty sides, shine through his composition.

Writings on Cities

Henri Lefebvre is considered to be the only major intellectual from France during the post-war period who offered an extensive review of the New York City’s urban life. In his publication, he illustrates the importance of changing the people’s lives through changing the city. In his theory, he states that it is an individual right of every person to ensure that all the population in New York is inevitably transformed. Lefebvre believes that it can ensure that the process of urbanization is reshaped through the collective power of all residents of the city.

Grand Central Station

The Grand Central Station has brought trains into the New York Central Railroad, as well as into the Hudson River Railroad (New York Central). It has also brought trains from the Harlem Railroad in New York and the New Haven Railroad, uniting them in one large station. The Grand Central Station was designed in October 1871 by John B. Snook. It features a total of forty-four platforms as well as sixty-seven railway tracks. The tracks are divided into levels, where forty-one tracks are situated on the upper level and twenty-six tracks are situated at the lower levels. After the Long Island Railroad had been completed in 2016, the Grand Central Station acquired a total of forty-eight platforms and seventy-five tracks. There is a distinct difference between the Grand Central Terminal and the Grand Central Station, lying in the fact that the Grand Central Station is situated near the post office and the forty-second street.


The Station was first known as the Grand Central Terminal. It has been considered to be the New York’s busiest transportation hub, as well as a major landmark of the city. Over the years, it has been commonly referred to as the Grand Central Station by the American natives. Nevertheless, the term Grand Central Station is technically the name of the subway station below. Most Manhattan residents pass through the Grand Central Station when they go to Connecticut or Westchester. The first Grand Central Terminal was constructed by the railroad magnate known as Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1971. Nevertheless, the original Grand Central Terminal became obsolete after steam locomotives were burned in 1902, after the catastrophic train collision that killed seventeen and injured thirty-eight people.

After the accident in 1902, within months, the plans to demolish the existing station were developed. They were to be employed to pave the way for a new terminal for electric trains. In 1994, the Grand Central Station’s management was taken over by Metro-North, and an extensive renovation was performed. The North-Metro restored the Grand Central Station’s splendor, wanting it to be as it was in 1913. Today, it has become a Manhattan landmark as well as a busy commuter hub. A big part of the history and grandeur of the old New York City is preserved in the modern Manhattan. In addition, today the station also hosts several restaurants, dining concourse, hotel lounges, and fifty shopping outlets. This historic train station is also a site for art and cultural exhibits, and it hosts other special events throughout the year. One of the most reviewed events that takes place in the Grand Central station is the annual holiday fair.

Echo Wall/Whispering Gallery

The Echo Wall is a fascinating phenomenon that can be found at the Grand Central Terminal. The whispering echo sounds of crowds can be heard over and over again, if a person places their ear right against the tile work of the intersection of the walls of the Grand Central Terminal. This acoustic oddity is caused by the perfect arches that form the walls of the Grand Central Terminal. The distinctive tile work is also known as the Guastavino tile work, because the tiles were engineered by a famous Spanish tile creator Rafael Guastavino. The meticulous work of the tiles can be admired at the Grand Central Terminal and in other destinations around the city.

Main Buildings on Fifth Avenue

The Fifth Avenue is considered to be the primary access road that goes via the district of Manhattan in the New York City. The Avenue onsets from one hundred and forty-third West Street in Harlem and stretches all the way up to the Washington Square (NYC Tourist). The square is located in the famous Washington Square Park, at the heart of the Greenwich Village. Over the years, the avenue has been considered to be among the most expensive streets where people could buy items for both domestic and commercial use. The main buildings along the Fifth Avenue include the Trump tower, the public library, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Central Park, and the Grand Army Plaza.

New York Public Library

New York Public Library is one of the largest public libraries in New York and the United States. It hosts more than fifty-three million items on its shelves, and is regarded as the second largest library in the United States. It is also the fourth gigantic public library in the world. It is independently managed and is considered as a non-profit generating library, as it attains its financing from a collection of private, as well as public sectors of the federal economy. The NYPL has branches with the boroughs of Manhattan, the Staten Island, and the Bronx. It has also formed various affiliations with other professional and academic libraries that are situated in the metropolitan region of the New York State.

Jane’s Carousel

Jane’s Carousel, formerly referred to as the Idora Park Merry-Go-Round, is a wooden Carousel with forty-eight carved horses, constructed in 1922. The carousel was designed for the Idora Park, an amusement park located in Youngstown, Ohio. The Philadelphia Toboggan Corporation constructed the Merry-Go-Round, and the carousel was carved by Frank Carretta together with his partner John Zalar. Both carvers were also responsible for the carving of carousels built by PTC, among other carousel corporations, such as Looff. Jane’s Carousel became itemized in the Registrar of Historic Places database in the United States in February, 1975. It was considered to be the first carousel to receive such a designation.

In 1984, the Idora Park was shut down, and the carousel became dormant. Nevertheless, it was brought back after being auctioned by Jane and David Walentas, and it was later moved to Brooklyn, New York, for reconstruction. Then, it opened to the public again on September 16, 2011, where it was positioned at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, at the Southern East River Side in Brooklyn. The building was also commissioned by the Walentas to host the Walentas Carousel, created by Jean Nouvel, the French architect. On October 29, 1985, the carousel was delisted from the National Registrar database. Since then, the Merry-Go- Round is not yet listed in the National Registrar database.

The Architecture

The Toboggan Company built the carousel in 1922, and later it was restored and donated to the park by the Walentas. The masterpiece was designed by Jean Nouvel, a renowned award winning architect, and is currently situated in the Empire-Fulton Ferry part of the city’s renowned Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors describes the modern urban life of the New York City. It illustrates how the residents live in small-scale houses, near their regular destinations, and how they drive sparingly for the common goal of achieving a conducive environment. Through his publication, Owen portrays how Manhattan residents are a good example of an ideal environmentalism. He pays attention to the fact that the Manhattans demonstrate the reality of this phenomenon on a daily basis, through their low consumption of energy per capital. Owen also claims that Manhattan residents live in smaller spaces that are closer to their regular destinations. For instance, he claims that they live close to dental care centers, shopping centers, and places where they can have fun. In order to get to these places, they can either walk, bike, or take a mass transit vehicle.

Embodied Efficiency

Through his publication, Owen portrays how the green nature in the city’s life can be attained. He states that the city hotel, located in Times Square, could have twice as many rooms as Arizona’s sprawling resort hotel — it takes approximately one percent of the sprawling hotel complex. According to Owen, this embodied efficiency has been ignored by numerous environmentalists who show enthusiasm for leadership in the fields of energy and environmental designs.

More like Manhattan

In addition, through this publication, Owen illustrates how the New York City apartments consume less energy than apartments in other states. According to him, the Manhattans discourage the usage and accumulation of energy by various draining appliances and consumables. He also states that people from Manhattan maximize public green spaces and do not use lawn mowers or lawn chemicals that contribute to the environment degradation. Also, according to Owen, most residents of Manhattan use shared utilities. For instance, he states that the heat escaping from the ground level houses heat up the apartments above. Owen also illustrates how people in Manhattan live close to their areas of work. According to him, most residents of Manhattan live in close proximity to a variety of businesses.

In order to discourage driving, people should concentrate on walking and using public transportation. In addition, shorter commutes can be translated into fewer expressway, as well as into fewer traffic congestions. Density and diversity are important factors in the use of engines that make the communities work, because such engines transport people with varied backgrounds, situated in close proximity to each other. Such neighborhoods become safer and people become more attuned to each other’s wants. As such, this has led to the construction of numerous restaurants, movie outlets, and museums, from which the public members can address their wants. Ultimately, this fact has caused a significant reduction in the suburban sprawl.

Also, according to Owen, one of the most devastating damages that humans have caused to the environment is the burning of fossil fuels. Most cars, including hybrid cars, still consume a significant amount of fossil fuel, which is not environmentally sustainable. In addition, this phenomenon is escalated by the observation that eighty-two percent of New York City’s travelers use public transportation and bicycles. This statistic is ten times higher than the rate of such measures taken by all Americans in general. The New York state is the last in the rank in terms of gasoline usage, due to the realization of the need to conserve the environment.

Personal Thoughts about Manhattan

From the publication, it is evident that the Manhattans are environmental conservationists. It can be seen through their green-friendly measures, such as minimizing the usage of personal vehicles to avoid the excessive burning of fossil fuels. In addition, the publication describes a region where building structures are engineered in an ingenious way of ensuring that heat from the lower building heats the apartments on the upper levels. Also, the neighborhoods of Manhattan remain green even during the dry seasons, a perfect illustration of the effect of perfect conservationists’ measures employed by the Manhattan residents.

Christopher Park, Sheridan Square

The Uses of Sidewalks

The Uses of Sidewalks was authored and published by William Whyte and Jane Jacobs in 1958. They co-authored the publication with Francis Bello, David Seligman, and Seymour Freedgood. The authors focused on addressing the various issues affecting the New York City, such as the suburban sprawl, transportation issues, and city politics among others. These were the issues that affected the New York City in the 1990s.

Downtown Is for People

The article Downtown Is for People was published in 1958 by the Fortune Magazine. It was considered to be Jacobs’ first essay, a critic of the city planning. In this publication, she tried to explain her ideas on what an ideal city should be like. The author illustrates the importance of small blocks, the need to have diversity in the types of the city buildings, affordability of such buildings, as well as the age disparities in such structures. She also emphasizes the need to focus on people and not on the architecture of such constructions.

Northern Dispensary

Northern Dispensary was built in 1831, and it is situated at one hundred and sixty-five Waverly Place in the Greenwich Village. The structure has remained in that position for over a century. The Northern Dispensary was constructed by the local citizens with the aim to provide healthcare services to poor people in the region. In 1960, the Northern Dispensary became a dental clinic. It got in the limelight of the media in 1986, after it refused to treat a person who was suffering from the HIV infection. The patient sued and bankrupted the clinic. After that, the building became a hostel, serving the disabled people until 1997. After that, the building became vacant, and it has remained that way up to date.


Stonewall was the shortened name of Stonewall Inn. It is a gay bar and a recreational center, situated in the Greenwich Village of the lower Manhattan. It was famous for the Stonewall riots that took place in 1969, as they marked the most important events to the gay liberation movement, including the modern fights for gay and lesbian rights in the Unites States. The original Stonewall Inn was shut down in 1969, and it was located at the fifty-one to fifty-three Christopher Street. The Inn was placed between the West Wall Street and the Waverly place. In addition, in 1990, a bar that was being referred to as Stonewall was opened in the western half of where the Stonewall Inn had been initially situated. It was renovated and returned to its original name in 2007. Today, the Inn is considered to be a part of New York’s city landmarks, preserved by the city’s landmark preservation commission.

Christopher Street

Christopher Street is a street situated in the western village area of the New York City’s region of Manhattan. It is a continuation of the Ninth Street in the western side of Sixth Avenue. It is widely recognized because of the Stonewall Inn, which is located at the Christopher Street. After the Stonewall riots in 1969, the Christopher Street became the center for gay rights in New York City. Today, both the Inn and the Christopher Street serve as an important symbol of gay rights in the New York City.

New Gate Prison

New Gate Prison was opened in 1797, and it was considered to be the first state’s penitentiary in New York City. It is situated close to the Hudson River, and it was envisioned to be a good prison for rehabilitating people charged with serious crimes other than murders and arsons. Nevertheless, the prison became more overcrowded than it had been originally planned, and at one time it housed double the capacity of its four hundred and forty-six intended prisoners. Due to the overcrowding nature of the prison, there was constant interaction between the inmates. Consequently, this made the prison prone to violent riots.

Hudson River Park Project

Hudson River Park is one of the most renowned waterside parks, located in the northern river in New York. It is a part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, and it extends from the Fifty-ninth Street on the southern side of Battery Park through the borough of Manhattan. The park is approximately five hundred and five acres in size, and it stretches at the distance of approximately four point five miles. This makes it the second largest park in Manhattan after the renowned Central Park. The park was renovated as part of the Westside Highway replacement project, when the abandoned West Way plan was being renovated.

Christopher Street Pier

Christopher Street Pier is a group of Piers that is situated along the Hudson River Park, in the Greenwich Village of Manhattan. The Pier has numbers of forty-two, forty-three, forty-six, and fifty-one. The term Christopher Street Pier often refers to the forty-fifth Pier that is positioned at the opposite side of the West Tenth Street. It can be reached by crossing the West Street.

The High Line and Chelsea Market

In the Forest of Symbols

In the Forest of Symbols is a publication by Berman, where the author talks about the aspect of modernism in New York. He starts by describing the Bronx in New York, which is the place he grew up in. In addition, he talks about how he felt when the Bronx kept changing over time. According to Berman, during his childhood years, the region was characterized by drugs, terror, gangs, murder, as well as by thousands of abandoned building structures. However, the master planner in the mid-twentieth century in New York, Sir Robert Moses, has changed the face of the Bronx to what it is today. Berman focuses on the positive aspects as well as on the good outcomes that Moses’ reconstruction projects have created, and on their impact on the New York City.

The Highline Project – Manhattan

The Highline is a one point four five-mile-long linear park situated in New York City. The structure is built at the elevated section of Manhattan Central railroad, stretching to the west sideline. The project runs from Gansevoort Street, which is situated in the Meatpacking District, all the way through Chelsea, until it reaches the northern edge of the thirty-fourth street of West Side Yard.

Chelsea Art Scene

Chelsea Art Scene is also referred to as the Chelsea art museum, and it is situated in the twenty-second street section of the Eleventh Avenue, Chelsea, New York City. The museum has been renovated over the years in order to become one of the historical buildings in the city. It measures approximately thirty thousand square feet in size.

Jean Nouvel

Jean Nouvel was a French architect who was born in August 1945. The architect studied in Paris, and he became famous for being a founding member of the Mars 1966 structure. Over the years, Nouvel has been involved in a number of high-profile architectural designs, such as Grand Central Station.

Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry was a Canadian-born American architect who was born in February 1929. He made a great contribution to New York’s designs — some of the buildings he drew, including his private residence, have become the world’s most renowned tourist attraction buildings.

Tom Otterness

Tom Otterness is an American sculptor born in 1952. He has become one of the most prolific public artists in the New York City after being involved in gigantic public constructions such as libraries, museums, subway stations, and courthouses, among others. Otterness was also involved in the building of the Fourteenth Street subway. In addition, one of the most renowned creations done by Otterness is the Rockefeller Park, which is situated in the Battery Park City.

Famous Buildings around These Sections

Bayview Correctional Facility

Bayview Correctional Facility is a facility that was originally designed as a medium-level security prison for women. It is situated on the West Twentieth Street, as well as on the Eleventh Avenue in NYC. It is also positioned straight across the famous Chelsea Piers games stadium.

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery

Michael Rosenfeld Gallery had been initially constructed on the West Fifty-Seventh Street, until it was moved to Chelsea in 2012. Now it is situated on the ground floor of the Jean Nouvel’s Residential Tower, along the One Hundredth Avenue on the Ninetieth Street. The structure measures approximately six thousand five hundred square feet in size.

Similar History Between the Two Buildings

The two structures shared a similar wall for several decades. Bayview was a large building that did not have grounds or a perimeter wall. The building was positioned side by side to Michael Rosenfeld Gallery.


New York City is considered to be among the most vibrant cities in the world. It is characterized by a large population and rich history that dates back as far as the eighteenth century. Some of the major landmarks there include the Governors Island, Grand Central Station, The High Line, Chelsea Market, Jane’s Carousel, as well as the renowned Christopher Park and Sheridan Square. Each of the landmarks has contributed immensely to the development of New York City’s history.

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