Join this small-group tour of Manhattan and discover more about New York’s architecture along 42nd Street. Admire the impressive architecture of the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Station, the New York Public Library and New York Times Building.
What to Expect
Walk down one of the world’s greatest thoroughfares, 42nd Street and learn about the architecture in New York City. Stretching from the East River to the Hudson River and cutting through Manhattan, marvel at major monuments in American 20th-century style architecture from the Beaux-Arts Grand Central Station to the Art Deco Chrysler Building to the new skyscrapers that highlight the famous, and transformed, Times Square.
Your guide, an informed practising architect or scholar of architectural history will give you an overview of the architectural history of the city. We will begin at the East River in the hidden residential enclave, Tudor City. The distinctive United Nations building forms the backdrop to this area as you are given an introduction to architecture in New York. We will then proceed onto East 42nd Street observing several important structures from the glass and concrete Ford Foundation building to a trio of skyscrapers epitomizing Art Deco style: the Daily News Building, the Chanin Building, and the famous Chrysler Building. Grand Central Station, an impressive Beaux-Arts structure will be visited (inside as well as outside) to discuss the vast spaces and history of the building. A mere two blocks away, stands another Beaux-Arts building, Carrère and Hastings' New York Public Library, offering stunning exterior design, as well as sumptuous interiors.
Our next stop is Times Square, where 42nd Street converges with Seventh Avenue and Broadway. We will discuss the history behind this famous landmark in New York, from its 'red light’ past and its recent transformation into a center of international media. After which, we will examine the restored early 20th century theatres between Seventh and Eighth Avenues and discuss how by the late 19th century, the area became known as New York’s Theatre District. Finally, crossing Eighth Avenue, we will finish our tour with Raymond Hood's McGraw-Hill Building and compare this to his Daily News Building at the east end of the street. The structure, with its tiling and horizontal bands of windows, was the only New York building included in Hitchcock and Johnson's landmark 1932 publication, The International Style. It embodies a new style of sleek modern skyscraper that has come to define the city's architecture in the 20th and 21st centuries.
- Either a practicing architect, or an architectural historian as your guide
What's Not Included
- Hotel pickup and drop off
Meet your docent in the lobby of the Hilton Manhattan East Hotel at 304 East 42nd Street, which is at the corner of 42nd St. and 2nd Avenue. You will find them just beyond the reception desk at the communal table right across from the cafe Herb & Kitchen.
Nearest subway stops: 4, 5, 6 Grand Central Station.
You can also reach Grand Central by transferring to the S train (grey - shuttle) from the N,R,W,Q,1,2,3,A,C,E lines at their 42nd Street stops.
What to Remember
The tour is conducted in small groups of 6 participants maximum to give you the best experience you can get!
The minimum age for this tour is 12 years.
Context walks can be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to the walk with an 85% refund. Within 48 hours all reservations are final and cannot be refunded. Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather. If you are running late for your meeting with our docent, we ask that you call to alert us so that we can relay the message to the docent. No shows are treated as last-minute cancellations and are non-refundable. Cancellations within two business days need to be made directly with our local offices by calling them directly (or on the emergency number provided). Cancellations made via email or by calling our U.S. 800 number may not be accepted.