New York – History
Manhattan Island is the oldest part of New York and its original inhabitants were Indians (Manhattan is an Indian name). In 1626 Indians sold it to the Dutch for goods worth 24 dollars. The Dutch called their new home New Amsterdam. In 1644 it became an English colony and was renamed New York (after the Duke of York, brother of Charles II, the King of England).
In southern part of Manhattan there used to be a wall against Indians, now there is Wall Street – the centre of financial life with the most important stock-exchange in the world.
In 1886 the Statue of Liberty was built on Liberty Island and welcomed immigrants as they entered the harbour.
At the turn of the 20th century the first skyscrapers began to appear. They were built because of the lack of space and the high price of the land in the city centres. In 1930 the Chrysler Building (306 m), the seat of Chrysler automobile company, was built. In 1931 the Empire State Building (381 m) was completed (now after the crash of The Twins of the World Trade Center in 2001 it is again the highest building in N.Y.). There is also the UN building by the East River.
Skyscrapers as the buildings are like small cities: they offer residential quarters, office spaces, parking lots, restaurants, shopping facilities, fitness centres, swimming pools but living in a skyscraper is expensive.