NYC Architecture: Beaux Arts

New York City has no end of buildings so we decided to look at notable buildings there. US architecture at the beginning of the 20th century was influenced by the beaux arts style, named for the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris that taught neoclassical architecture. We visited three beaux-arts building in NYC.

Fuller Building (Flatiron)

When completed in 1903, the Fuller Building was the tallest building in the world, at 21 stories. Today it is more noted for its long, triangular shape as the building’s footprint fills a narrow block formed by Broadway cutting across Fifth Avenue at a sharp diagonal.

Flatiron Building from Madison Square Park
Flatiron Building from Madison Square Park

This photo below shows the north end of the building, with statues on the roof and decorations on the top floor.

top of Flatiron Building
top of Flatiron Building

Here’s the south end, the wide end of the Flatiron Building. The decorations on each story are the same on all three sides of the building.

wide end of the Flatiron Building
wide end of the Flatiron Building
decorations on Flatiron Building
neoclassical decorations on the fourth floor of the Flatiron Building

New York Public Library

The main branch of the New York Public Library was completed in 1911. The entrance is flanked by a pair of marble lion statues. The columns and robe-clad statues above the columns are part of the beaux-arts style.

entrance of New York Public Library
entrance of New York Public Library

The  Rose Main Reading Room is 297′ long and 78′ wide, with an ornate ceiling with murals.

Rose Main Reading Room
Rose Main Reading Room

The wooden help desk across the middle of the room is decorated with carvings and this clock.

clock at help desk
clock at help desk of Rose Main Reading Room

Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal, completed in 1913, is a train station with 44 platforms. Below, the usual neoclassic ornamentation with an eagle, the symbol of the US.

neoclassic decorations for Grand Central Terminal
neoclassic decorations for Grand Central Terminal

An eagle decoration from the previous building, the Grand Central Station, has been retained.

eagle decoration from previous building
eagle decoration retained from Grand Central Station

The Main Concourse is 275′ (84 m) long, 120′ (37 m) wide and 125′ (38 m) high. As indicated by the far windows, this is the 100th anniversary.

main concourse of Grand Central Terminal
main concourse of Grand Central Terminal

The high ceiling shows constellations.

constellation ceiling of Grand Central Terminal
constellation ceiling of Grand Central Terminal
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charley280

I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

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