Feel like heading on an art deco architecture tour of New York? Well, it’s definitely the perfect city to do it in…
The Big Apple’s iconic skyline has evolved plenty in the past 100 years, but it was the art deco movement in the 1920s and 1930s that really saw it get lit up. From the Chrysler Building to the Empire State Building, New York’s art deco architecture is as iconic today as it was back in the day.
The best way to appreciate all of this amazing art deco architecture is by taking your own art deco New York tour and seeing these fine structures up close and personal. If you’re planning an architectural odyssey during your stay in New York, here’s our guide to some of the top buildings you need to see!
Here are the top art deco buildings to see in NYC
The Chrysler Building
Nothing screams art deco more than the Chrysler Building. It was built in 1930 during the middle of New York’s skyscraper boom and served as the tallest in the world for 11 months – until that totally unknown place called the Empire State Building was completed! Notable features include its stainless steel spire, which was reportedly inspired by a car radiator grille.
The Empire State Building
Have you ever been on a trip to New York without catching a glimpse of the Empire State Building? Completed in 1931, it was actually the tallest building in the world for nearly 40 years. The American Society of Civil Engineers also named it one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World – and it’s easy to see why!
The building is a classic example of art deco architecture, featuring magnificent terracotta spandrels, intricate filigrees, and bas-relief sculptures. The lobby has also undergone a huge renovation that preserved its art deco style – complete with chrome trim, geometric shapes and designs, and marble walls.
Radio City Music Hall
Opened in 1932, this New York entertainment venue on 6th Avenue has an interior that’s just as grand as its exterior. With a seating capacity of 6,000, the inside is furnished with art deco ornaments and fixtures. It includes an intricate ceiling mural titled “The Story of Mankind,” which was painted by Edward Trumbull. Outside, the bright neon lights will make you feel as though you’ve been transported back in time – one for the ‘gram for sure…
The Rockefeller Center is actually an Art Deco complex made up of 19 unique buildings in Midtown Manhattan. The 14 original buildings in the center were erected back in the 1930s during the art deco style movement, and the buildings today still feature elements such as terracotta spandrels and intricate filigrees, along with geometric shapes and designs. The most iconic building in the complex is 30 Rock – a structure that incorporates art deco design both inside and outside the building.
The General Electric Building
The General Electric Building might not be as famous as the Chrysler or Empire State Buildings, but its architecture definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. This New York landmark has some of the city’s most intricate details on its facade, all representing the energy giant.
The interior has art deco flourishes as well, with the lobby boasting a gorgeous marble floor and walls decorated with intricate designs. Look out for lightning bolts, radio waves and Art Deco faces dotted all over the exterior of the building.
70 Pine Street
The iconic 70 Pine Street is one of the most eye-catching art deco structures in New York City – and it once claimed the distinction of the world’s third tallest building. The 80-storey structure’s exterior walls gradually slope inwards as the structure becomes taller, ending with a thin, pointed steel spire that adds 150 feet to its overall height.
If you get up close, you’ll be able to appreciate all the details that make 70 Pine Street truly special. This limestone-encased snow-capped mountain-themed tower also features an open-air platform with an enclosed glass observatory on the 66th floor. There’s no denying that the views of downtown Manhattan remain virtually unparalleled.
Freehand New York
Yes, that’s right! Book a trip to Freehand New York and you’ll stay in a building that’s an art deco masterpiece. Freehand New York was once known as the George Washington Hotel, which was originally built in the 1930s and designed by architect Frank Mills Andrews in a signature element of the art deco style! Our building is decorated with terrazzo floors, mosaic tile panels, brass fixtures and ornamental plasterwork, all of which will make a perfect backdrop to your Big Apple experience. So what are you waiting for? Book your stay at Freehand New York today!