How Mike Solved the Puzzle
Identifying the Buildings
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Quiz #398 Results
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Answers to Quiz #398 - May 26, 2013
1. Name two of the buildings in the distance.
2.  What is the earliest date it could have been taken?
3.  Where was it taken from?
TinEye Alert
You can find this photo on,
but the quiz will be a lot more fun if you solve the puzzle on your own.
1.  The Empire State Building, the American Radiator Building, and
the Chrysler Building
2.  1931 after the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building
were constructed
3.  The New York Tower on the George Washington Bridge
Congratulations to Our Winners!

Marcelle Comeau and John Berkey (team Berkey-Comeau)
Grace Hertz and Mary Turner (Team Fletcher)
Donna Jolley                Dawn Carlile
Rebecca Bare
Gus Marsh                Mary Osmar
Carol Stansell                Mike Dalton
Arthur Hartwell                Tom Collins
Nancy Nalle-McKenzie
    Judy Pfaff                Daniel E. Jolley
Dawn Carlile                Margaret Paxton
J. J. Bibeau                Kelly Fetherlin
Comments from Our Readers
I wonder if this week's contest photo was inspired by I5 freeway bridge collapse in
Skagit County, WA on Thursday May 23rd. Had this happened three days prior, I
would have been SOL in getting home on time.
Mike Dalton
View is from the George Washington Bridge, most likely the east tower
looking almost due south. The picture has to be almost square to the bridge.  
That is how I decided the bridge is the GWB. The GWB was started in 1927 and
finished in October 1931.  The picture could be taken while the east tower was
under construction - say 1929.
Tom Collins
I was surprised at the number of skyscrapers completed in the early 1900s.  The
Metropolitan Life Building was completed in 1909.  Fifteen additional were built
between 1909 and 1933 with the GE Building being the last.

I knew this was the NYC skyline and first thought it was the Statue
of Liberty.  When I googled Statue of Liberty, I came across a picture of the
Brooklyn Bridge that had similar rivets.  I then googled Brooklyn Bridge worker
looking out over river in quotes and the picture came up.
Nancy Nalle-McKenzie
N.B.  Nancy, I am not sure where you found the picture, but it was not taken from
the Brooklyn Bridge.  If you look at a map, you would see that the Brooklyn Bridge
is too close to be the right now. The buildings would be much larger from that
location.  - Q. Gen.
Photo: obviously from a NYC bridge towards NYC skyline. My first
thought was Brooklyn Bridge, but its towers are concrete.

NYC has its "top ten list" of bridges. Google maps shows bridge
crossings in relationship to Empire State Building. Photo view appears
to be almost South, West to East at about 12 noon. This narrowed
down list to Triborough and George Washington bridges. The GW is
much farther away and more directly south, where it crosses Hudson
River from New Jersey.

The GW is a suspension bridge of exposed open steel lattice work on
bridge towers. Bridge piers are built from base up and bridge towers
are built upon base. The deck work for bridge is built out from bridge
towers and in this case with cables. The GW has West and East
bridge towers. From a distance, lattice work looked similar  to
contest photo.

I searched George Washington Bridge West Tower and found several
contest photos on yahoo images. These particular images (website
links) were not on tineye results, at least not on first 100.

Mike Dalton

I don't think the Woolworth Building shows up in the picture.  It is
must further away from the GW Bridge, down closer to the tip of
Manhattan, and much shorter.  It only has 23 stories.

I thought the third building might be the American Radiator Building
(the American Standard Building), but it's close to the Empire State
Building and only 20-somethign stories high.  Its top has an unusual
shape that looks like that middle one.  But now I am not sure if I'm

Colleen Fitzpatrick PhD
Quizmaster General
The picture is of an urban skyline, but judging from how few buildings are present, it
was probably not taken recently. The style of the picture also suggests a photograph
from the early decades of the 1900s.  A little research on early skyscrapers will identify
two of the buildings as the Empire State Building (to the right) and the Chrysler Building
(to the left).
Empire State Building
Since the Chrysler Building was completed in 1930, and the Empire State Building was
completed in 1931, based on these two buildings, the earliest date for the photo has to
be 1931.

Furthermore, since the Empire State Building is seen on the right, and the Crysler
Building is seen on the left, the photo had to have been taken from north of the
structures, looking south, and from across the Hudson River. The location is an
open-frame steel structure with large rivets. The most likely location is the George
Washington Bridge. (See map below).

The other buildings were harder to identify, but they had to be skyscrapers that were
completed by about 1930, they had to be more than half the size of the other two, and
they had to be located in midtown Manhattan, between the Chrysler and the Empire
State Buildings as seen from the George Washington Bridge.

Wikipedia gives a list of Manhattan skyscrapers at

There are only a few possibilities, including the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Center,
completed in 1933.  It can be identified in the picture by its wide, rectangular shape,
and its location between the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building, but nearer
to the Empire State Building along the line of sight of the photograph.
GE Building
Washington Bridge
GE Building
500 5th Ave.
Empire State
Chrysler Building
Manhattan Skyline Annotated
(Order from left ot right will be reversed on map since the photograph was taken
from the north).
The Lincoln Building, located at 60 East 42nd Street, Manhattan, is the flat-topped
building in the center of both photographs.  The Chrysler Building is to the far left in
each excerpt..
Other possibilities are 500 Fifth Avenue, the art deco style building located between
42nd and 43rd Sts in Manhattan, completed in 1931, and the
Mercantile Building,
located at 10 East 40th St.. But as seen from the George Washington Bridge, these
structures should be visible between the Empire State Building and the GE Building.  
Since there is nothing showing in this position, the building at 500 5th Ave is probably
eclipsed by the GE Building along this line of sight. The
New York Life Building with its
pyramidal gilded roof, located at 51 Madison Ave across from Madison Square Park, is
not visible in the picture either, and is probably eclipsed by the Empire State Building.
Others that don't qualify are the
Woolworth Building, completed in 1913, and 70 Pine St
(formerly the American International Building), completed in 1932.  These two are
located in Lower Manhattan, and would only be visible in the distance, if at all.
Going down the Wikipedia list of skyscrapers, there are a couple of others that can be
identified by their positions and their shapes.
The building with the fluted top to the right of the Chrysler Buildings is the Channin
Building, 122 East 42nd Street.
Lincoln Building
Channin Building
New York Life
There are two still unidentified buildings that I will leve as exercises for the
reader:  the structure between the Channin Building and the Lincoln Building
(see the annotated skyline above) and the small blck building in the left
foreground.  (See thumbnail to right).
Final Note:  The picture in this week's quiz can be found in the New York Metropolitan  
Archives and on many other websites such as

"A view of the city from the New York tower of George Washington Bridge, 168th
Street & Hudson River, on December 22, 1936.(Jack Rosenzwieg/Courtesy NYC
Municipal Archives)"

However, note that if the photo had been taken from the New York Tower (on the
Manhattan side of the bridge) the photographer would not have been looking across the
Hudson River at midtown Manhattan.  His view would have been over land.  The
photograph must have been taken from the new Jersey Tower, 76 feet into the Hudson
River from the Jersey shoreline.

See for more information about the
George Washington Bridge.
This 2000 photo shows the George Washington Bridge (I-95, US 1, and US 9) from the
Fort Lee shoreline. (Photo by Mike Tantillo.)