Book Review: Rise of the New York Skyscraper, 1865–1913 (Sarah Bradford Landau and Carl W. Condit): AH

8/11/2001 • American History Reviews

by Sarah Bradford Landau and Carl W. Condit (Yale University Press, 496 pages, $50.00). The history of New York’s first skyscrapers is chronicled in this definitive book that shows, with the aid of 209 black and white photographs, drawings, and building plans, how the development of this new type of structure transformed the appearance and shape of the city. Detailed are the 1888 construction of the 13-story New York Times Building, which was erected around its 1857 predecessor; the Woolworth Building, whose owner, F. W. Woolworth, not only wanted the highest skyscraper in New York–the main block rose 30 stories, with the tower adding another 25–he wanted the most original; and the New York Produce Exchange, which, though only 10 stories high, was considered one of the great buildings of the age due to its architectural design and its construction technology.