The tall Secretariat Building overlooking New York’s East River is the centerpiece of the United Nations complex and a symbol of the quest for peace between nations. The smooth glass facade is also a landmark example of the International Style, a mid-twentieth century movement toward simple, geometric design. The architects included Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, and Wallace Harrison.
The United Nations officially came into being October 24, 1945. The Secretariat building was completed in 1952 and renovated in 2012.
Learn about the International Style >> Modernism – Picture Dictionary of Modern Architecture
With a six-story spiraling ramp, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum is a hallmark example of hemicycle design. At the center, an open rotunda offers views of artwork on several levels. Wright, who was known for his self-assurance, said that his goal was to “make the building and the painting an uninterrupted, beautiful symphony such as never existed in the World of Art before.”
The circular building seems as revolutionary today as it did when the museum first opened on October 21, 1959.
Explore Wright’s New York Guggenheim Museum
Frank Lloyd Wright Exhibition at the Guggenheim >>
September 11 may not be the best day to visit the National 9/11 Memorial. But don’t let tourist crowds discourage you from seeing this important and dramatic tribute to victims of terrorism. Even on New York City’s busiest days, the dark voids and cascading waterfalls create a sense of deep reverence.
Architect Michael Arad and his team faced many challenges during the design and construction of the memorial. To learn how the vision became a reality, see: Reflecting Absence: Designing the National 9/11 Memorial
[Photo above: National 9/11 Memorial in September 2013. Copyright Jackie Craven]
Inspired by new archaeological finds in Egypt, streamlined Art Deco architecture became the rage during the 1920s. Architect Raymond Hood had already made his fame designing grand Neo-gothic buildings like the Tribune Tower in Chicago. But, by the 1930s he embraced the jazzy new Art Deco style, designing some of America’s most colorful and exciting buildings.
In New York City, see Raymond Hood’s Art Deco architecture at Radio City Music Hall and the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Center—or, as it’s affectionately known, “30 Rock.”
Learn about Art Deco >>
Born on July 8, 1906, Philip Johnson became famous for his glass-walled house and for surprising designs like this New York City landmark, often called the Lipstick Building.
Explore the life and works of Philip Johnson >>
(Photo credit: Wikimedia)