Building the Skyline: The Birth and Growth of Manhattan’s by Jason M. Barr

By Jason M. Barr

The big apple skyline is among the nice wonders of the trendy international. yet how and why did it shape? a lot has been written in regards to the city's structure and its normal historical past, yet little paintings has explored the industrial forces that created the skyline.

In Building the Skyline, Jason Barr chronicles the commercial heritage of the ny skyline. within the approach, he debunks a few greatly held misconceptions in regards to the city's historical past. beginning with Manhattan's ordinary and geological background, Barr strikes directly to how those formations stimulated early land use and the advance of neighborhoods, together with the dense tenement neighborhoods of 5 issues and the decrease East part, and the way those early judgements finally impacted the positioning of skyscrapers outfitted through the Skyscraper Revolution on the finish of the nineteenth century.

Barr then explores the commercial historical past 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 renowned trust, this was once now not end result of the depths of Manhattan's bedrock, nor the presence of Grand principal Station. fairly, midtown's emergence used to be a reaction to the industrial and demographic forces that have been happening north of 14th highway after the Civil conflict.

Building the Skyline additionally offers the 1st rigorous research of the reasons of the construction increase in the course of the Roaring Twenties. opposite to standard knowledge, the growth was once principally a rational reaction to the industrial development of the kingdom and town. The final bankruptcy investigates the price of ny Island and the connection among skyscrapers and land costs. ultimately, an Epilogue deals coverage innovations for a resilient and strong destiny skyline.

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Barr Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and certain other countries. Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America. � Jason M. Barr 2016 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by license, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reproduction rights organization.

My colleagues in the Economics Department have been very supportive throughout the years, especially Peter Loeb, who, as chair, hired me as an assistant professor in 2003. Rutgers‒Newark provided a wonderful academic climate and allowed me the luxury to merge my professional and personal interests by writing this book. Much of the research in the second part of the book was partially funded by Rutgers University Research Council Grants, which have been immensely helpful and appreciated. I also thank my colleagues Alan Sadovnik and Robert Snyder for their advice over the years.

For nearly half a century (1932 to 1977), Manhattan experienced a slow and painful, though uneven, deflation in its land values; so much so, that the real value of Manhattan at its nadir in 1977 was at the same point it had been nearly a century before. In the last two decades, since the early 1990s, Manhattan’s land values have not only recovered but have soared. This is actually problematic, since it indicates severe restrictions in building that would otherwise have caused land value increases to moderate.

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