The Empire State Building in New York City as seen at twilight on a recent evening from the rooftop of an artists’ studio in Chelsea. We love that moment when the lights first come on atop this most iconic of New York skyscrapers, especially when the lights are just plain white and it’s still kind of bright outside. (We could live without the building’s other array of garish symbolic and seasonal colors.)
The glass-and-steel tower at the L.A. Live building complex in Los Angeles is an imposing presence on the skyline as you approach city’s downtown from almost every direction but the north. The building is the first major new skyscraper in L.A. since 1992. Since it’s completion a few years ago, it has become an unmistakeable if unadventurous and uninspired part of L.A.’s architectural identity. Whatever people think of it, it’s a huge structure by skyscraper-shy L.A. standards. The building is home to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and at night its edges light up with strings of lights that outline the tower’s shape and dynamically change over time.
The spire was finally added to the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site in New York City last week. The photos below show the Tower, with its newly added spire, as seen from SoHo. The addition of the spire was a momentous occasion, a milestone charged with the symbolism — the building is now 1,776 feet tall, which is an important date in America’s history of independence. The event makes the Freedom Tower the tallest building in the western hemisphere.
The view looking out a tenth-floor window at the offices of global advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather. The view faces east over the snow-covered tenements and low-rise apartment buildings of Hell’s Kitchen in the foreground and toward the skyscrapers of Times Square and Midtown Manhattan in the distance, seen here on this blustery New York City afternoon.
The capital city of Costa Rica doesn’t have much of a high-rise skyline to speak of. But one unmissable architectural landmark on San Jose’s urban landscape is a massive brutalist skyscraper that’s home to the Instituto Nacional de Seguros.
Depending on your point of view, the building is either an ugly eyesore, an oddly ambitious and out of place gesture of modernist architecture, or it’s an architectural gem, a shining, living example of brutalism.
In any case, the structure is one of the largest in San Jose and it’s architecturally significant. The brutalist style was an influential architectural movement that came of age in the 1950s and was in vogue for a time in the ’60s and ’70s, a time when many large cities in Latin America were experiencing a building boom. (See more examples of San Jose architecture here and here.)