North America

For four decades, the Empire State Building on 34th Street, built in 1931, was the tallest building in the world with its 102 floors and 381 meters (no top), until in 1972 it was expanded to include 411 meters high, 110-story, approximately 840,000 square meters of office space Twin towers of the World Trade Center was surpassed; the latter were destroyed by a terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. After 30 years of stagnation – also due to the global economy – a new generation of skyscrapers is under construction, some of which are supposed to extend well over 500 meters. The newly ignited competition for the tallest building in the world has recently focused not only on the USA but also on the Arabian Peninsula, China, Southeast Asia and Russia.

After the World Trade Center was destroyed, the Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York with its mast, which was originally intended as an anchorage for zeppelins. It has since been replaced by the One World Trade Center. Erected on the site of the collapse of the WTC (“Ground Zero”), it is now the tallest building in the USA at 417 meters (541 meters with antenna).

Finding your way around Manhattan is easy, as the city plan is extremely regular, especially north of 14th Street. The “Streets” are the cross streets that are numbered from 14th Street in the south to 193rd Street in the north. With a few exceptions, the “Avenues”, which are also numbered, are the longitudinal axes that run at right angles to the streets. The resulting checkerboard pattern is typical of American urban planning.

Another typical feature is the diagonal taken over by the Spaniards – here Broadway – which, as the main thoroughfare, crosses the checkerboard pattern. Broadway is New York’s longest thoroughfare. “The Great White Way” owes its international reputation to the theaters that have been playing here since 1735. There are over 40 Broadway stages between 40th Street and 53rd Street, plus the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall. The attraction of Broadway is also demonstrated by the many hotels between 34th and 60th Streets. This part of the city is also home to the United Nations headquarters, the most important political administrative institution in the city.

Fifth Avenue is the central axis of Manhattan and divides the island into an east and a west part. It’s dead straight to 143th Street in Harlem. On Fifth Avenue the street numbers start in both directions; the designation East or West indicates whether a house is to be found on the east or west of Fifth Avenue. For more information about the continent of North America, please check