34th Street Looking East

34th Street Looking East - New York, New York

34th Street Looking East – New York, New York

I was approaching my first destination, Hudson Yards, with its new towering skyscrapers to my right. I looked left down 34th street and saw a classic — the Empire State Building.

Something about these old buildings, like the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, have “the right look” — the perfect proportion of height and width. Too short and they look ridiculously stubby like the Frost Tower in Austin.

Conversely, make them too wide, no matter how tall they are, and they never gain the elegance of these classics. I suppose cost-benefit calculations for the optimal height and width for a price point determine modern structures. Perhaps this wasn’t considered back in the 1930s when architectural design and tallest-tower bragging rights ruled the day.

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