Then & Now: A Look into Historical Sites of the New York City
As notable as New York City is globally, there are still a majority of historical sites throughout that are unknown by NYC residents. Stroll down any city street and you’re sure to find a remarkable structure with a story. But New York City is also the home to a variety of national historical landmarks that are often overlooked.
Let’s take a look into the historical sites of the city in their past state and now their present.
The first architectural feat of New York City came in 1883 with the Brooklyn Bridge. At first, the bridge was seen as an engineering challenge because it took on the problem of creating transportation across the East River which would make it the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time. The Brooklyn Bridge made use of steel-wire cables to make this happen, invented by John A. Roebling who was the bridge’s original designer. Roebling was the driving force behind 12 different bridge-related projects throughout the country. Unfortunately, Roebling died before the Brooklyn Bridge came to fruition but his design and engineering input still reflected in the finished product. The bridge’s completion took over 14 years and involved 600 workers in the process.
Supporting over 150,000 vehicles and pedestrians per day, the Brooklyn Bridge is now one of the more major connections from Manhattan to surrounding boroughs.
Flushing Meadows, Corona Park
New York City’s fourth biggest park actually used to hold a world famous title and its past is the reason for its existence today. The steel globe that stands as Corona Park’s trademark was originally created for the 1964 World’s Fair. In 1964, Flushing Meadows hosted over 160,000 people for this international exhibit. This area, now known as Corona Park, was once purely an industrial land with open space which presented a clean canvas for Robert Moses when planning the World’s Fair.
Corona Park currently draws locals everyday with its catch-and-release lake, an active zoo, a skate park, a $66 million recreation center, open playground fields, and a number of other attractions.
US Custom House
The Alexander Hamilton US Custom House is a recognized historical landmark but it’s importance to American history usually isn’t as understood as it should be. Built in 1907, this building is located on the same land as the first settlement in Manhattan which is now addressed as 1 Bowling Green. The First Congress (1789) created the US Customs Service and it now lives as the oldest federal agency.
These days the landmark is the home to the National Museum of the American Indian and the state’s National Archives. Cass Gilbert, who also designed the Woolworth Building, laced the US Custom House structure with a Beaux-Arts style.