New York City's skyline used to be subtle in its stunning beauty — earth tones mixed with stone textures and no retina-scalding sun beams bouncing off glass towers. It all centered around The Woolworth Building at first, a structure both striking and easy on the eyes, back in the day illuminating the New York night with 80,000 incandescent bulbs. It was all a twinkling dreamscape from across the East River.

The skyline grew, and together, the buildings delivered an impressive and ever-changing collection of architecture bringing you through the decades—a beautiful testament to what New Yorkers could accomplish with imagination and drive. The buildings touched the clouds but were rooted in the Manhattan soil, bringing the city together with natural elements while creating something new, exciting, and kind of unreal. Too big to reflect a single idea or sentiment, always the right size to let you dream. But eventually, some jerk was gonna come and ruin it...

One Manhattan Square... can you see it? Can you FEEL IT?

Tod Seelie / Gothamist

Today, the Woolworth building is mostly buried amidst glass and steel—billionaires' clutter. And as evidenced in the above photos—taken on a recent helicopter ride over the city—it's hard to even see anything else ever since this shiny cheese grater, known as One Manhattan Square, sprung from Hades.

This giant mirror sits at 252 South Street, not even that close to the iconic part of the Lower Manhattan skyline (it's, rightfully, in the Verizon Building District). And yet somehow there it is, everywhere, always, stealing your eyes from the beauty and reflecting the light of a thousand suns back at you, blinding us all with its banality.