View Full Version : Public Observation Decks

January 31st, 2003, 01:22 AM
I was wondering where in New York City there are public observation desks, and how much they cost.

Just Rich
January 31st, 2003, 12:04 PM
Other than the obvious (Empire State Building) you can also get to the Rainbow Room at the top of Rockefeller Center but I think you need dinner reservations to get up there. *I'm not from New York so correct me if I'm wrong. *In the past (10years or so ago) I've posed as a student gathering information for an Architectural Thesis and have asked for permission to have acces to rooftops or upper floors to take photos from. *It was a pretty successful mission. *The easiest one to get into was the Parker Meridien Hotel. *They've got a pool on the roof top and they were cool about letting me up there. *For aerial photos there's also the Helicopter tours - just make sure you get a window seat.

January 31st, 2003, 02:27 PM
I thought that helicopter tours were banned in the wake of 9/11... *If not, where do I sign up?

January 31st, 2003, 08:04 PM
You can try Liberty Helicopters (http://www.libertyhelicopters.com/liberty/index.html). However, I saw this on their website: "Disposable cameras available for purchase at heliport and will be allowed onboard the aircraft)". Perhaps that means that you cannot use your own camera.

The View Restaurant and Lounge on top *of Marriott Marquis has a nice view. You might get dizzy though, the place is rotating.

January 31st, 2003, 09:20 PM
I would prefer the Empire State Building because it's cheaper thatn a helicopter ride, yet you can't get the view you might see on a helicoper.

February 13th, 2003, 06:11 PM
i flew with liberty helicopters only a few weeks ago and you can take as many pics as you like with your own camera. it cost $100 for a 15 minute trip which takes you up the hudson river and then over the statue of liberty. there is a cheaper trip for about $69 but it is shorter. they fly from a jetty not far from the statton island ferry terminal, you can buy the tickets in the actual place. we only had to wait 5 mins from buying the ticket to boarding the chopper.

the reason it flys up the hudson river is that helicopters are only allowed to fly over the water in NYC apart from the NYPD choppers. look at the photos i took from the chopper at this link http://members.lycos.co.uk/phillyshoe/newyorkpart3.htm, they are very good its one of the best things i ever did i cant recommend it enough. go up the empire state building aswell but be prepared for a long queue (unless you go early on a morning or late at night, it shuts at 11.30pm)

there is also a virtual skyride in the empire state building which has a simulated helicopter ride over manhattan, but i didnt get time to do it.

February 24th, 2003, 10:13 PM
Let's also not forget the observation deck that was on 2 WTC. *Until 9/11 it was the world's tallest observation deck. *You could see all five borroughs from it. *Unlike the Empire State Building it can give you a better view of Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Liberty Island as well as lower Manhattan, though the views of the Bronx might be tough to see. *Also, the Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Brooklyn used to have an observation but it was closed in the 1970's.

February 24th, 2003, 10:23 PM
*whisper* I've heard if you ask you can get to a certain WSB hallway and peek out the window..

February 25th, 2003, 10:50 AM
Actually the observation deck on the WSB was closed since 1977. *You could actually see better views of Brooklyn/Queens as well as LI plus SI if the day is nice. *This was something that neither the ESB nor 2 WTC could offer. *A Forgotten NY fan took some recent pictures to add to that site, and it can be found at this address http://www.forgotten-ny.com/STREET%20SCENES/willie/willie.html if your interested in it. *Other buildings such as 40 Wall St and the Woolworth Bldg used to observation but they were closed due to the lack of interests in them. *However, if you want to get a great view of upper Manhattan and the Bronx then go to Riverside Church though it's only open on Sundays. *This is also something that neither the ESB and 2 WTC could never offer though I'm not saying that those are bad places to look b/c I actually liked going to them.

February 25th, 2003, 04:11 PM
Tal, I know the public obs is closed but if you ask you can get to a 16th floor hallway

February 25th, 2003, 04:30 PM
I just gave the link for the pics just for the fun of it. *Yes it's still the tallest in Brooklyn ever since it was errected in 1929. *Also, it was the tallest building in LI until after Citibank in Queens was errected in 1990, which is also, known for being the tallest building in NYC outside Manhattan. *It would still be nice if it was still opened to the public, and it was on the 26th floor.

May 13th, 2003, 10:58 PM
I wish I could get see from the upper floors of office buildings like Citicorp and 1251(Exxon). Unfortunately, you need an access card or I-disc (you must be an employee) to get up there now.
These days, you're lucky just to see the lobby.

TLOZ Link5
May 15th, 2003, 09:56 PM
There's supposedly a nice view from the top-floor boardroom at AXA Center, 787 Seventh Avenue. *I work there, but I've never gotten a chance to get up to the boardroom, sad to say. *I'll have to make a point of it.

Jack Ryan
May 31st, 2003, 02:25 PM
If you go to the Municipal Building at Centre and Chambers, you can take a lobby elevator to the highest floor (I cant remember what that is), walk down the hall a little and find the very small Tower Elevator and again take it as high as you can, then schlep up a couple flights of filthy stairs and you will find yourself confronted with the most incredible 360 degree view of N.Y. youve ever encountered. I dont know how easy it is anymore (Post 9/11) though. Good luck! *

June 3rd, 2003, 06:40 PM
My suggestion is wear a suit and tie and walk straight to the elevator. If you look like you belong somewhere and you walk with purpose, few people will question you. (It probably also helps if you're not an Arab.)

TLOZ Link5
June 3rd, 2003, 08:44 PM
Security is pretty tight at office buildings nowadays. *I doubt that no one would notice if you walked straight to the elevator without showing a guard credentials or ID.

June 4th, 2003, 03:30 PM
I don't know. I'm not going to name names, because I don't know who reads this forum, but I've been in several office buildings, in fact one that was quite high profile and nobody asked me to see anything on my way to the elevator bay. That's not to say security didn't exist, but I obviously didn't fit their profile of a suspicious person.

June 4th, 2003, 04:07 PM
While we're on the topic, does anybody know what happened to the open-air observation deck on top of the GE building? *I've seen so many old post cards and photos of it. *When did it close?

TLOZ Link5
June 4th, 2003, 09:53 PM
I think in the eighties. *The Rainbow Room needed more space.

NyC MaNiAc
June 4th, 2003, 10:46 PM
Are there any Downtown Observatories now that the Twins are gone? I wonder if One New York Place will have one...is that building still going up?

TLOZ Link5
June 5th, 2003, 05:03 PM
Nope, Maniac. *No other observatories Downtown.

NyC MaNiAc
June 5th, 2003, 08:43 PM
Well, that's a shame. But the new WTC will solve that! :)

June 5th, 2003, 09:25 PM
This may be helpful:

Jack Ryan
June 7th, 2003, 09:50 PM
Once again Im talking Pre-911...At 70 Pine Street My friend and I strolled right past security without a word and went up to the very top floor via a lobby elevator and tower elevator. The tower elevator opens to the observatory through a trap door! Kind of like the delivery lifts that open to the sidewalk in Chinatown. Its REALLY cool. When I was up there, the elevator was called and it disappeared down through the floor and the trap shut over it. Also...20 Exchange Place. Those huge arched windows near the top are the men's and women's rooms! *

August 5th, 2003, 03:36 PM
I like the New York Skyride. * http://www.skyride.com *In the Empire state building.