Around Manhattan Architectural Boat Tours by AIA New York
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Highlighting in excess of 150 Big Apple and Brooklyn buildings (and even a few in New Jersey), the tour offers a fresh perspective of the city’s structures, and by design spotlights those lining the island’s perimeter. Now in their fourth year, the AIA tour guides and partner Classic Harbor Line have hit a stride (or the aquatic equivalent, rather). Departing from Chelsea Piers, the appropriately named Manhattan heads south into the no wake zone and progresses at a fast clip. We attended on a sunny Sunday and tour guide Kyle Johnson, co-chair of the AIA New York Chapter’s Tour Committee, deftly dished out architecture and history trivia to a sold-out crew of passengers. Posed with questions about buildings not featured, Johnson didn’t miss a beat. Three hours later, back on dry land, our sea legs gave us a fresh outlook on an iconic skyline.

The sea vessel Manhattan resembles a 1920’s commuter yacht.

The sea vessel Manhattan resembles a 1920’s commuter yacht.

Photo by Betsi Ewing

For ticket information click here.

With its spire recently raised, One World Trade Center by Skidmore Owings & Merrill became the tallest building in the city. It joins good company with the nearby World Financial Center and Goldman Sachs.

With its spire recently raised, One World Trade Center by Skidmore Owings & Merrill became the tallest building in the city. It joins good company with the nearby World Financial Center and Goldman Sachs.

Photo by Betsi Ewing

Click through for a taste of what to expect on the tour.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park’s greenery encroaches on the East River.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park’s greenery encroaches on the East River.

Photo by Betsi Ewing
Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building stands in the distance behind Frank Gehry’s 8 Spruce Street (which will hold the post as tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere until One57’s completion uptown).

Cass Gilbert’s Woolworth Building stands in the distance behind Frank Gehry’s 8 Spruce Street (which will hold the post as tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere until One57’s completion uptown).

Photo by Betsi Ewing
To the left of the Williamsburg Bridge, the Domino Sugar Factory awaits a Rafael Viñoly transformation.

To the left of the Williamsburg Bridge, the Domino Sugar Factory awaits a Rafael Viñoly transformation.

Photo by Betsi Ewing
The United Nations makes a strong riverside presence. In the foreground, the UN Headquarters built with contributions by Wallace K. Harrison, Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, and Sven Markelius. Behind and to the right of the campus, the UN Plaza Offices and Hotel by Roche Dinkeloo.

The United Nations makes a strong riverside presence. In the foreground, the UN Headquarters built with contributions by Wallace K. Harrison, Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, and Sven Markelius. Behind and to the right of the campus, the UN Plaza Offices and Hotel by Roche Dinkeloo.

Photo by Betsi Ewing
Plans are underway to stabilize the landmarked Gothic Revival style Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island.

Plans are underway to stabilize the landmarked Gothic Revival style Smallpox Hospital on Roosevelt Island.

Photo by Betsi Ewing
After reopening almost a year ago, Wards Island Bridge (aka the 103rd Street Footbridge) offers a 24-hour means of travel by foot or bike between Manhattan and Wards and Randall’s Islands.

After reopening almost a year ago, Wards Island Bridge (aka the 103rd Street Footbridge) offers a 24-hour means of travel by foot or bike between Manhattan and Wards and Randall’s Islands.

Photo by Betsi Ewing
A sister tour focuses on the bridge and tunnel infrastructure of the city. Here, the Park Avenue Bridge connects Manhattan to the Bronx.

A sister tour focuses on the bridge and tunnel infrastructure of the city. Here, the Park Avenue Bridge connects Manhattan to the Bronx.

Photo by Betsi Ewing
The monolithic River Park Towers by Davis, Brody & Associates loom above the calm waters of Upper Manhattan.

The monolithic River Park Towers by Davis, Brody & Associates loom above the calm waters of Upper Manhattan.

Photo by Betsi Ewing
The George Washington Bridge towers over the Little Red Lighthouse. The lighthouse was popularized by a 1942 children’s book and in 1951, public outcry prevented its dismantling. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The George Washington Bridge towers over the Little Red Lighthouse. The lighthouse was popularized by a 1942 children’s book and in 1951, public outcry prevented its dismantling. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Photo by Betsi Ewing
Riverbank State Park by Dattner Architects and Abel Bainnson Butz serves double duty. The sewage treatment plant below is handsomely masked by the state park overhead. It should be noted the construct is a job well-done, as Riverbank State Park is the most-used park in the state.

Riverbank State Park by Dattner Architects and Abel Bainnson Butz serves double duty. The sewage treatment plant below is handsomely masked by the state park overhead. It should be noted the construct is a job well-done, as Riverbank State Park is the most-used park in the state.

Photo by Betsi Ewing
Annabelle Selldorf’s impressive 200 11th Avenue stands above its neighbors – and its occupants’ cars do, too. The building is equipped with a car elevator allowing homeowners to park in an en-suite car garage.

Annabelle Selldorf’s impressive 200 11th Avenue stands above its neighbors – and its occupants’ cars do, too. The building is equipped with a car elevator allowing homeowners to park in an en-suite car garage.

Photo by Betsi Ewing
Architect: Oscar Niemeyer
Architect: Le Corbusier
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