Building the Skyline: The Birth and Growth of Manhattan's Skyscrapers

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9780199344369: Building the Skyline: The Birth and Growth of Manhattan's Skyscrapers

The Manhattan skyline is one of the great wonders of the modern world. But how and why did it form? Much has been written about the city's architecture and its general history, but little work has explored the economic forces that created the skyline.

In Building the Skyline, Jason Barr chronicles the economic history of the Manhattan skyline. In the process, he debunks some widely held misconceptions about the city's history. Starting with Manhattan's natural and geological history, Barr moves on to how these formations influenced early land use and the development of neighborhoods, including the dense tenement neighborhoods of Five Points and the Lower East Side, and how these early decisions eventually impacted the location of skyscrapers built during the Skyscraper Revolution at the end of the 19th century.

Barr then explores the economic history of skyscrapers and the skyline, investigating the reasons for their heights, frequencies, locations, and shapes. He discusses why skyscrapers emerged downtown and why they appeared three miles to the north in midtown-but not in between the two areas. Contrary to popular belief, this was not due to the depths of Manhattan's bedrock, nor the presence of Grand Central Station. Rather, midtown's emergence was a response to the economic and demographic forces that were taking place north of 14th Street after the Civil War.

Building the Skyline also presents the first rigorous investigation of the causes of the building boom during the Roaring Twenties. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the boom was largely a rational response to the economic growth of the nation and city. The last chapter investigates the value of Manhattan Island and the relationship between skyscrapers and land prices. Finally, an Epilogue offers policy recommendations for a resilient and robust future skyline.

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About the Author:


Jason M. Barr is an associate professor of economics at Rutgers University - Newark. His areas of interests include urban economics, New York City history, and computational economics. He has published many articles in top peer-reviewed economics journals. He is one of the leading scholars on skyscraper economics. His research has been discussed widely in the media, including in the New York Times, The Economist, National Public Radio, and the New York Observer. He has taught economics at Rutgers University - Newark, Dartmouth College, and Columbia University.

Review:


Architectural Record Recommended 2017 Summer Reading


"A deeply informed, literate account of the skyscaper's role in New York City history. Barr is a leading scholar in the economics of skyscrapers, and he turns out to be an outstanding storyteller as well. A towering achievement!"

-- Donald Davis, Ragnar Nurkse Professor of Economics, Chairman, Department of Economics, Columbia University


"This beautifully written and impressively researched economic history of tall buildings in Manhattan will beguile the reader. It punctures long-held myths and explains such puzzles as why there are no skyscrapers between downtown and midtown, which buildings are taller than they should be, why we are now building skyscrapers for residents and not corporate offices, and why New Yorkers no longer seek to build the tallest building in the world. Ranging from Manhattan's earliest days to the present, it concludes with some thought-provoking recommendations for the future."

-- John Mollenkopf, Distinguished Professor, Political Science and Sociology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York


"Skyscraper economist, Jason Barr, takes the reader on a captivating historical journey from the European settlement of Manhattan to the rise of the present day NYC skyline. Along the way, we learn the answers to fascinating questions concerning the role of bedrock in forming the skyline; the timing, formation, and growth of midtown; the use of tenements during periods of intense immigration; and the changing value of Manhattan real estate over time. Building the Skyline is essential reading for anyone interested in NYC real estate history and the rise of the Manhattan skyline."

-- Troy Tassier, Department of Economics, Fordham University


"Given the magnitude of the project, I doubt anyone will find the courage to take on such a massive undertaking anytime soon. For that reason alone this book is an instant classic."

-- SkyHigh.City


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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Manhattan skyline is one of the great wonders of the modern world. But how and why did it form? Much has been written about the city s architecture and its general history, but little work has explored the economic forces that created the skyline. This book chronicles the economic history of the Manhattan skyline. In the process, the book debunks some widely-held misconceptions about the city s history. Part I lays out the historical and environmental background that established Manhattan s real estate trajectory before the Skyscraper Revolution at the end of the 19th century. The book begins with Manhattan s natural and geological history and then moves on to how it influenced early land use and neighborhood formation, and how these early decisions eventually impacted the location of skyscrapers. Part II focuses specifically on the economic history of skyscrapers and the skyline, investigating the reasons for their heights, frequencies, locations, and shapes. The book discusses why skyscrapers emerged downtown and why they appeared three miles to the north in midtown, but not in between.Contrary to popular belief it was not due to the depths of Manhattan s bedrock, nor the presence of Grand Central Station. Rather midtown s emergence was a response to the economic and demographic forces that were taking place north of 14th Street after the Civil War. The book also presents the first rigorous investigation of the causes of the building boom during the Roaring Twenties. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the boom was largely a rational response to the economic growth of the nation and city. The last chapter investigates the value of Manhattan Island and the relationship between skyscrapers and land prices. Finally, an Epilogue offers policy recommendations for a resilient and robust future skyline. Nº de ref. de la librería AOP9780199344369

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Descripción Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2016. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Manhattan skyline is one of the great wonders of the modern world. But how and why did it form? Much has been written about the city s architecture and its general history, but little work has explored the economic forces that created the skyline. This book chronicles the economic history of the Manhattan skyline. In the process, the book debunks some widely-held misconceptions about the city s history. Part I lays out the historical and environmental background that established Manhattan s real estate trajectory before the Skyscraper Revolution at the end of the 19th century. The book begins with Manhattan s natural and geological history and then moves on to how it influenced early land use and neighborhood formation, and how these early decisions eventually impacted the location of skyscrapers. Part II focuses specifically on the economic history of skyscrapers and the skyline, investigating the reasons for their heights, frequencies, locations, and shapes. The book discusses why skyscrapers emerged downtown and why they appeared three miles to the north in midtown, but not in between. Contrary to popular belief it was not due to the depths of Manhattan s bedrock, nor the presence of Grand Central Station. Rather midtown s emergence was a response to the economic and demographic forces that were taking place north of 14th Street after the Civil War. The book also presents the first rigorous investigation of the causes of the building boom during the Roaring Twenties. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the boom was largely a rational response to the economic growth of the nation and city. The last chapter investigates the value of Manhattan Island and the relationship between skyscrapers and land prices. Finally, an Epilogue offers policy recommendations for a resilient and robust future skyline. Nº de ref. de la librería AOP9780199344369

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