The term “skywalk” conjures up something decidedly modern, and for the most part, the elevated pedestrian bridges linking office buildings in cities around the world really are quite recent. Rare before the 1960s and 70s, they have since become popular as a means of separating high volumes of pedestrians from high volumes of vehicular traffic (like in parts of Hong Kong) or of insulating downtown pedestrians from a harsh winter climate (like in Calgary or Minneapolis). At their best, they are a beautiful in their functionality; at their worst, like when a drab modern skywalk has been built between two historic structures, they are a blemish on the cityscape.
Last week, when I saw this skywalk on West 32nd Street in midtown Manhattan, I was surprised not only by how graceful it was, but how it seemed to have been added quite a long time ago, perhaps only shortly after the construction of the buildings it connects.
Tags: Architecture, Manhattan, New York