New York City features numerous iconic buildings. It’s a city that was built on architecture, and it was that architecture that helped to transform what was a city of farmland into one of the most visited cities in the world. The buildings within New York City are so synonymous with the city itself that it’s hard not to think of the world-famous architecture when hearing the words “New York”. Such monuments as the Statue fo Liberty often steal much of the limelight, but there are other buildings that are symbolic of New York City’s rich history.

While skyscrapers are still being built across Manhattan, a passion for the city’s historic buildings and an architectural walk around New York is the ideal way to learn more about the different eras of the city. So what are these architectural gems in New York City that any tourist must visit? Here is a small selection of the buildings that are known, not just for their architectural accomplishments, but for how they symbolise the city and its history.

Chrysler Building

With its unmistakable curves, the Chrysler Building is a true gem of U.S. art deco architecture. The home of the Chrysler corporation’s headquarters, it’s always competed with the Empire State Building for the position of New York’s No. 1 skyscraper. For almost a year, it was the tallest building in the world before its rival knocked it off its perch. No matter, thanks to its lush interior, as well as its steel metal frame with ornamental sculptures and decorative metal cladding, it remains the best example of classic American architecture.

Chrysler Building
Chrysler Building

Empire State Building

New York just wouldn’t be the same without the Empire State Building. The classic Art Deco building was the tallest building in the world for close to four decades before the World Trade Center’s North Tower was constructed. The Empire State Building was built on an 18th-century farm after 15 design revisions. The final design was finally settled on by architects Harmon, Lamb, and Shrive. Visitors can now enjoy a panoramic view of Manhattan after making their way to the 102nd-floor observatory.

Flatiron Building

While there are taller skyscrapers in New York City, this 20-floor building was among the tallestupon completion shortly after the turn of the century. Once known as the Fuller Building, the architectural treasure’s name was influenced by its shape, which looks like a cast iron. The design was also based on classical events, with the building having a capital, shaft and base not dissimilar to a Greek column. The owners of what is now an office building are considering turning it into a hotel. However, this would be a lengthy process, as they would need to wait until the current tenants’ leases expire. The iconic structure is one of the city’s most photographed buildings and has made numerous appearances in film and television, as it makes the audience instantly aware that they are watching a scene set in New York City.