Top historic sites in New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, colloquially the Met, is the largest art museum in the United States. Its permanent collection contains over two million works, divided among 17 curatorial departments. The main building at 1000 Fifth Avenue, along the Museum Mile on the eastern edge of Central Park in Manhattan"s Upper East Side, is by area one of the world"s largest art galleries. A much smaller ...
Founded: 1870 | Location: New York, United States

Times Square

Times Square is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, entertainment center, and neighborhood in the Midtown Manhattan, at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. One of the world"s busiest pedestrian areas, it is also the hub of the Broadway Theater District and a major center of the world"s entertainment industry. Times Square is one of the world"s most visited tourist attractions, dra ...
Founded: 1904 | Location: New York, United States

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan. It was designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon and built from 1930 to 1931. The building has a roof height of 380 m and stands a total of 443.2 m tall, including its antenna. The Empire State Building stood as the world"s tallest building until the construction of the World Trade Center in 1970; following the latter"s collapse in 20 ...
Founded: 1930-1931 | Location: New York, United States

National September 11 Memorial & Museum

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum commemorates the September 11, 2001 attacks, which killed 2,977 people, and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six. The memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers that were destroyed during the September 11 attacks. It is operated by a non-profit institution whose mission is to raise funds for, program, and opera ...
Founded: 2011 | Location: New York, United States

The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is an art museum located on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It plays a major role in developing and collecting modern art, and is often identified as one of the largest and most influential museums of modern art in the world. MoMA"s collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photog ...
Founded: 1929 | Location: New York, United States

St. Patrick's Cathedral

St. Patrick"s Cathedral was constructed starting in 1858 to accommodate the growing Archdiocese of New York and to replace St. Patrick"s Old Cathedral. Work was halted in the early 1860s during the American Civil War; the cathedral was completed in 1878 and dedicated on May 25, 1879. The archbishop"s house and rectory were added in the early 1880s, both by James Renwick Jr., and the spires were added i ...
Founded: 1858 | Location: New York, United States

New York Stock Exchange Building

The New York Stock Exchange Building (NYSE Building) is a structure in the Financial District of Manhattan, serving as the headquarters of the New York Stock Exchange. It is composed of two connected structures occupying two-thirds of the city block bounded by Wall Street, Broad Street, New Street, and Exchange Place. The central third of the block contains the original structure at 18 Broad Street, designed in the neocla ...
Founded: 1901 | Location: New York, United States

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island. The copper statue, a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework was built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue was dedicated on October 28, 1886. The statue is a figure of Libertas, a robed Roman liberty goddess. She holds a torch above her h ...
Founded: 1886 | Location: New York, United States

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is an American military and maritime history museum in New York. The museum showcases the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the cruise missile submarine USS Growler, a Concorde SST, a Lockheed A-12 supersonic reconnaissance plane, and the Space Shuttle Enterprise. On the lower deck there is also a reproduction of a World War I biplane. The museum opened in 1982 at Pier 86 ...
Founded: 1982 | Location: New York, United States

Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge spanning the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the first fixed crossing of the East River. It was also the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time of its opening, with a main span of 486.3 m and a deck 38.7 m above mean high water. The span was originally called the New York and Brookl ...
Founded: 1869-1883 | Location: New York, United States

St. Paul's Chapel

St. Paul's Chapel, built in 1766, it is the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan, and one of the nation's finest examples of Late Georgian church architecture. A chapel of the Parish of Trinity Church, St. Paul's was built on land granted by Anne, Queen of Great Britain. Construction on the building's main body began in 1764 and was completed in 1766. The church's spire was added between 1794 and 1796. Built ...
Founded: 1764-1766 | Location: New York, United States

New York City Hall

New York City Hall is the seat of New York City government, located at the center of City Hall Park. Constructed from 1803 to 1812, the building is the oldest city hall in the United States that still houses its original governmental functions, such as the office of the Mayor of New York City and the chambers of the New York City Council. While the Mayor"s Office is in the building, the staff of thirteen municipal ag ...
Founded: 1803-1812 | Location: New York, United States

Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building is an Art Deco skyscraper in the Turtle Bay neighborhood on the East Side of Manhattan. At 319 m, it is the tallest brick building in the world with a steel framework, and was the world"s tallest building for 11 months after its completion in 1930. Originally a project of real estate developer and former New York State Senator William H. Reynolds, the building was constructed by Walter Chrysl ...
Founded: 1930 | Location: New York, United States

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, often referred to as The Guggenheim, is an art museum located at 1071 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 89th Street in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan. It is the permanent home of a continuously expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions throughout the year. The museum was established b ...
Founded: 1937 | Location: New York, United States

Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall is a concert venue in Midtown Manhattan. Designed by architect William Burnet Tuthill and built by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, it is one of the most prestigious venues in the world for both classical music and popular music. Carnegie Hall has its own artistic programming, development, and marketing departments and presents about 250 performances each season. It is also rented out to performing groups. C ...
Founded: 1889-1891 | Location: New York, United States

Museum of the City of New York

The Museum of the City of New York (MCNY) is a history and art museum in Manhattan. It was founded by Henry Collins Brown in 1923 to preserve and present the history of New York City, and its people. The red brick with marble trim museum was built in 1929–30 and was designed by Joseph H. Freedlander in the neo-Georgian style, with statues of Alexander Hamilton and DeWitt Clinton by sculptor Adolph Alexander Weinman fac ...
Founded: 1923 | Location: New York, United States

Fort Jay

Fort Jay is a coastal bastion fort and the name of a former United States Army post on Governors Island in New York Harbor. It was built in 1794 to defend Upper New York Bay, but has served other purposes. From 1806 to 1904 it was named Fort Columbus, presumably for explorer Christopher Columbus. Fort Columbus played an important role in the military life of New York City as the largest army post defending the city. The ...
Founded: 1794 | Location: New York, United States

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.