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Download Building the skyline : the birth and growth of Manhattan’s by Jason M. Barr PDF

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By Jason M. Barr

The new york skyline is without doubt one of the nice wonders of the fashionable global. yet how and why did it shape? a lot has been written concerning the city's structure and its common background, yet little paintings has explored the industrial forces that created the skyline.

In Building the Skyline, Jason Barr chronicles the industrial background of the big apple skyline. within the strategy, he debunks a few generally held misconceptions in regards to the city's background. beginning with Manhattan's normal and geological historical past, Barr strikes directly to how those formations motivated early land use and the advance of neighborhoods, together with the dense tenement neighborhoods of 5 issues and the reduce East facet, and the way those early judgements ultimately impacted the site of skyscrapers equipped in the course of the Skyscraper Revolution on the finish of the nineteenth century.

Barr then explores the industrial background of skyscrapers and the skyline, investigating the explanations for his or her heights, frequencies, destinations, and shapes. He discusses why skyscrapers emerged downtown and why they seemed 3 miles to the north in midtown-but now not in among the 2 components. opposite to well known trust, this used to be now not a result of depths of Manhattan's bedrock, nor the presence of Grand valuable Station. particularly, midtown's emergence used to be a reaction to the industrial and demographic forces that have been happening north of 14th road after the Civil struggle.

Building the Skyline additionally provides the 1st rigorous research of the explanations of the construction increase in the course of the Roaring Twenties. opposite to traditional knowledge, the growth used to be mostly a rational reaction to the industrial development of the kingdom and town. The final bankruptcy investigates the worth of long island Island and the connection among skyscrapers and land costs. ultimately, an Epilogue bargains coverage suggestions for a resilient and strong destiny skyline.

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Additional resources for Building the skyline : the birth and growth of Manhattan’s skyscrapers

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At 5 acres, it was the island’s largest body of freshwater. It was likely formed as a kettle pond, from a trapped boulder of glacial ice that melted into a pond, and remained fed by underground springs. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, its depths remained a mystery—​some even claimed it was bottomless—​but today we can see its floor was some 140 feet below the ground. Archaeological evidence shows that the lake bed was about 70 feet above that. We are thirsty now, and want to take a drink, so we walk a block to the southeast to the intersection of Mulberry Street and Park Row.

The common belief is that there are no skyscrapers north of Chambers Street and South of 14th Street because there is a bedrock valley there. But the real reason is that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, there simply was no demand for them in these neighborhoods. It had nothing to do with developers’ inability to supply them. But this begs the question: If bedrock depths did not block the construction of skyscrapers, why did Midtown arise as a separate, parallel business district 3 miles north of Wall Street?

Our goal is to reach the highest peak in Washington Heights, a few blocks north of the George Washington Bridge in Bennett Park, at 183rd Street. When we arrive, exhausted from our long journey, we take in the vista: a huge 13-​mile long rock jagged and cracked in parts, smoothed, folded and bended in others. Looking south, we see its long, slow plunge downward, almost like a great blue whale descending into the sea. Tomorrow, we will put back the till, sand, boulders, and clay and roam through Manhattan’s subsoil.

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