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Our introduction to architecture was a memorable one and an experience that few can say they shared. We began with City Hall, taking in the full effect of not only the building but also the park in its vicinity and the water fountain within it. The park complimented the elite style of the building. The waterfall was peaceful and inviting; also similar to the kind of atmosphere the architect was aiming to create. The building emphasized symmetry, simplicity, and precision.

The next building we saw was the famous Woolworth Building, built in 1913. When it was built, it set records in architectural achievements. When we walked into the building we witnessed not only architectural significances, but also elaborate designs and personal details. Upon entry into the building we both felt like royalty. We were sure that as we walk up the wide staircase, the doors would open, a banquet would be waiting, and we would be introduced to the King and Queen. The sense of awe created by the design of lobby is aimed to entice businesses to rent floors in the building. This effect is increased due to the grand, welcoming staircase.

We were both intrigued by many aspects of the buildings, starting with the lobby and ending with the roof (also known as the home of the pelican). The elevators are reminiscent of the Tower of Terror attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The tiny elevators contradict the considerable size of the building. We liked how the history of the building has been kept alive throughout the years. Even without a tour, one could get a better understanding of the building’s past thought the caricatures and sculptures along the walls and ceilings. We did find it slightly conceited to find the face of the architect and Woolworth all over, but it made the building more personal.

For our own architecture presentations we chose to use Coney Island. We met next to Nathans and began looking for something inspiring that is worth dedicating an entire project to. Two blocks later, we realized there is no choice more clear than the Cyclone. We examined the Cyclone from all angles, and even trespassed a little through an entry open for construction workers. We realized that the ride packs several spins and drops into a small area. We also found the design of the roller coaster to be fairly simple, mainly consisting of wooden boards and large bolts. After taken pictures of all sorts of variations, we noticed that the Cyclone is isolated from other attractions of Coney Island.

At that point, we decided to walk along the boardwalk to get another view of the roller coaster in relation to the rest of the area. The white color of the Cyclone effectively complimented the blue of the ocean. While on the boardwalk, we came face to face with the Wonder Wheel. The Wonder Wheel conveyed a feeling of unity. We continued observing the area and realized the next monument that drew our attention was the Parachute Jump. After that, everything came together. The Wonder Wheel is the centerpiece, with the other two monuments to the left and right. As we look along the boardwalk these three structures catch our eyes as if pinpointed on a map. Hence, we felt the need to learn a little more about each landmark.

We couldn’t help but pay close attention to the Cyclone. It stood alone on the street while the Wonder Wheel was surrounded by other attractions. From visiting the parks in the past, we know there are even separate tickets sold for the rides in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and for the Cyclone itself. This relates back to the history of the area, where all the parks would compete with each other for ticket sales. Also, we learned that originally there were many more rides and entertainers at Coney Island than there are now, so we aren’t getting the same effect of the structures as the original architects and visitors got. We were also interested in learning more about the Parachute Jump since right now it doesn’t resemble an attraction in anyway. It more closely resembles some sort of satellite with a scientific purpose.

Our past experiences with the park are very different. Polina grew up in the Brighton Beach, an area that is a walking distance from Coney Island. She has visited the park many times and was aware that we were walking along a historic site. She even rode the Cyclone although she was fearful of the ride. The wooden boards seemed old and frightening to her, and the fact that it was almost an artifact did not help either. She rode the Cyclone with a friend to help ease her anxieties. However, she was still worried about the constant shaking and rattling of the boards beneath them. The ride was quicker than she thought, and she was glad she took a chance and experienced the history.

Lidiya, on the other hand, has had a difference experience with the park. She remembers being terrified of the Cyclone but willing to take the chance if someone would finally tell her she is tall enough for the ride. Deep down she knew that the height requirements were the same for each ride, but made sure she still lined herself up with every ruler. At an older age, Lidiya attended the Mermaid Parade at the start of summer at Coney Island. She was slightly frightened because she was not sure what the men were doing dressed as mermaids, but still made sure to see a variety of costumes. These types of events were very common in Coney Island’s past.

The architectural styles of Coney Island and of some of the places we saw in Manhattan are very unique but all of them convey a history not only about the creator, but also about the time they were built in and the tools that were used to create these structures. Experiencing a landmark in person has a much more personal effect on an individual than looking at well angled pictures. Nothing beats the real deal.

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