With the summer travel season is well underway, this is a great time of year to visit architectural gems all over the country. There is something so powerful about being face to face with great works that you have admired only in photographs. In honor of the season of long-weekends, Watchdog will be posting about the top buildings to visit in regions all over the country. First up: the one and only, New York City.
#1- One World Trade Center
One World Trade became an instant NYC icon; the presence of this building in the New York City skyline is absolutely stunning. The building, which is the tallest in the Western Hemisphere, stands a symbolic 1,776 feet high. Visit the three floor observatory with views stretching 50 miles. There is also much to be explored at ground level (including OWT’s 55ft high lobby) with the much talked about Calatrava-designed transport hub and other high-profile skyscrapers in nearby Lower Manhattan.
#2- Whitney Museum of American Art
After visiting One World Trade, start making your way uptown and stop at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Not only is the collection not to be missed, but the building itself, which just opened in May, is one of the most-talked about buildings in recent years. According to Curbed’s architecture critic Alexandra Lange, the internal space suggests a unique kind of urban stroll.
#3- Cooper Hewitt
Stop for lunch in Central Park and then head over to Cooper Hewitt. The former Carnegie mansion is now the home of the Smithsonian’s Design Museum. After a $91 million overhaul and a collaboration of 13 architectural firms, the museum has been updated for the digital age without losing any of its charm. The design combines the grandeur of the Gilded Age with interactive and digital exhibitions expected in any modern cultural center.
#4- Weeksville Heritage Center
If you’re ready to switch things up, head over to Brooklyn’s Weeksville Heritage Center. The center was built on the site of one of the first free African American settlements in the country. It won the 2014 Municipal Art Society MASterworks award for “Best New Building.” The site itself sits on 1.5 acres and has exhibition and event space as well as a 41,000 square foot “interpretive landscape.”