The Empire State Building was built in one year and 45 days. It broke ground on Jan. 22, 1930 and was completed on May 1, 1931.
Ground was broken for the Chrysler Building- arguably, the most beautiful of all skyscrapers- on Sept. 19, 1928 and opening day ceremonies took place on May 28, 1930.
Rockefeller Center, which involved the construction of 14 buildings, began on May 17, 1930 and was finished on Nov. 1, 1939. The complex includes, among other things, Radio City Music Hall and the RCA Building. It encompasses 8 million sq. feet and 22 acres in midtown.
On Aug. 5, 1966, the groundbreaking for construction of the World Trade Center complex was held. Thirteen city blocks were razed for the Twin Towers project which also included five smaller buildings. The ribbon-cutting was held on Apr. 4, 1973.
It wasn't only the erecting of buildings in which the Greater New York area provided grounds for success. The first shovel of dirt for the Holland Tunnel was removed in October 1920. The project was completed in November 1927. The Lincoln Tunnel's "first hole" came in 1935- followed by the opening of the first tube in 1937; the second tube in 1945; and the third tube in 1957.
The Queens-Midtown Tunnel began work in July 1937 and opened in November 1940.
This was the New York City of "can do."
By contrast, the World Trade Center was destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001 and to date, there's nothing more than a hole in the ground- and major excuses for lack of rebuilding.
The Pentagon in Washington, D.C. also suffered major damage on 9/11 but was quickly rebuilt. There are no scars left with the exception of some brickwork that is a slightly different hue.
If only Ground Zero could benefit from the same sort of enthusiasm that New York City seems to have for putting up new stadiums for the Yankees and Mets.
Sports fans are still driving on roadways and using bridges and tunnels that were built decades ago. While authorities give lip service to urging the use of mass transit, the fact is, fans of the $6 hot dog are not too concerned with over $4 per gallon of gasoline.
Next year, the trip for baseball fans may not get any easier, but at least they'll have their respective new stadiums to enjoy.
Too bad such efficiency is in short supply elsewhere. If the incompetents who run things today were around when plans for New York City's major structures were in the works, it's likely there would still be wooden buildings.
When did all this confidence in the ability to accomplish things vanish from the scene?
They are putting up man-made islands and majestic buildings in Dubai, Saudi Arabia and the best we can do is sell them the crown jewel that is the Chrysler Building.
Post new comment