Historical Landmarks in New York City, New York
New York City (NYC), also referred to as New York City or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the US. New York is also the most heavily populated metropolitan city in the United States, with an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 spread over some 302.6 square miles (784 km2). Located on the southern tip of the U.S. state of New York, the city is the hub of the metropolitan area of New York, the world’s largest metropolitan region by urban landmass. With about 20 million residents in its metropolitan statistical area and about 23 million in its combined statistical area, it is one of the most populated megacities in the world.
This era of modern history began with the election of Fernando Wood in 1855 as Tammany Hall’s first mayor, an Irish immigrant-supported political machine in the Democratic Party that dominated local politics during this time and into the 1930s. Public-minded members of the old merchant class pushed for a Central Park opened in 1857 to a design competition; it was the first American city landscape park.
During the American Civil War (1861–65) the city was influenced by its history of close trading links to the South; half of its exports were cotton-related prior to the war, including textiles from upstate mills. Together with its increasing population of refugees, angry at conscription, sympathies among citizens were split at the outbreak of war for both the Union and the Confederacy. War-related tensions resulted in the 1863 Draft Riots by ethnic white immigrants who targeted black communities and abolitionist homes. Most blacks left the town and were heading to Brooklyn. The immigration rate from Europe rose steeply after the Civil War, and New York became the first destination for millions seeking a new and better life in the United States, a position recognized by the Statue of Liberty dedication in 1886.
Given the impact of the Great Depression, during the 1930s some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world were completed. The architecture of Art Deco — like the iconic Chrysler Building, Empire State Building, and 30 Rockefeller Plaza — came to characterize the skyline of the city. The Rockefeller Center building occurred in the 1930s and was at the time the largest private development project ever. The construction of bridges, parks and parkways orchestrated by Robert Moses, the greatest promoter of automobile-centered modernist urbanism in America, also reshaped large areas of the city both before and particularly after World War II.
The population of New York hit an all-time high in the 2000 census; the city has continued to expand since 2000 according to census projections, with strong development in Manhattan, the most urbanized borough. In this time, New York City was the site of the September 11 attacks of 2001; 2,606 people in the towers and the surrounding area were killed by a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, an incident considered to be extremely traumatic for the community but which did not stop the rapid re-growth of the region. One World Trade Center opened on the Attack site on November 3, 2014.