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TinEye Alert You can find this photo on TinEye.com, 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.
***** 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.
***** 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.
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.
***** 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 right.
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).
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.
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.
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.
New York Life Building
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.