Fodor's Expert Review Seagram Building
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a pioneer of modernist architecture, built this boxlike bronze-and-glass tower in 1958. The austere facade belies its wit: I-beams, used to hold buildings up, here are merely attached to the surface, representing the idea of structural support. The Seagram Building's innovative ground-level plaza, extending out to the sidewalk, has since become a common element in urban skyscraper design, but at the time it was built, it was a radical announcement of a new, modern era of American architecture. Most visitors are distracted by more elaborate figures in the city skyline, but the Seagram is a must-visit for architecture buffs. With its two giant fountains and welcoming steps, it's also a popular lunch spot for Midtown workers. Visit late in the afternoon to avoid crowds.