The walk is led by a docent from our network who is either a practicing architect or scholar of architectural history, and aims to give both an overview of the architectural history of the city and the fantastic ways that the human and built environments collide. We begin at the East River in the hidden residential enclave Tudor City. With the distinctive United Nations Building and spectacular views as a backdrop, we will situate ourselves and introduce the architectural history of New York. Our itinerary continues on East 42nd Street with several important structures, from the glass and concrete Ford Foundation Building, to a trio of skyscrapers that epitomize Art Deco style: the Daily News Building, the Chanin Building, and the famous Chrysler Building. Grand Central Station, a magnificent Beaux-Arts structure, is visited outside and inside to discuss the vast spaces and history of this temple to transportation. Just two blocks away, another Beaux-Arts building, Carrère and Hastings' New York Public Library, offers sumptuous exterior decoration and interiors for a different purpose.
The next stop is Times Square, where 42nd Street converges with Seventh Avenue and Broadway. We will discuss the history of this fabled intersection, its "red light" past and its recent metamorphoses to a center of international media. Restored early 20th-century theaters between Seventh and Eighth Avenues prompt us to discuss the establishment of the area in the late 19th-century as New York's Theater District. Crossing Eighth Avenue, we end our discussion with Raymond Hood's McGraw-Hill Building, a bookend – and counterpoint – to his Daily News News Building at the east end of the street. This structure, with its tiling and horizontal bands of windows, was the only New York building included in Hitchcock and Johnson's landmark 1932 publication, The International Style, and ushers in a new style of sleek modern skyscraper that has come to define the city's architecture in the 20th- and 21st-centuries.