Skyscraper The Politics and Power of Building New York City in the Twentieth Century

ISBN-10: 0812241843
ISBN-13: 9780812241846
Edition: 2009
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Description: Nowhere in the world is there a greater concentration of significant skyscrapers than in New York City. And though this iconographic American building style has roots in Chicago, it is in New York where it has grown into such a powerful reflection  More...

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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Publication date: 9/14/2009
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Size: 7.25" wide x 9.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

Nowhere in the world is there a greater concentration of significant skyscrapers than in New York City. And though this iconographic American building style has roots in Chicago, it is in New York where it has grown into such a powerful reflection of American commerce and culture. InSkyscraper: The Politics and Power of Building New York City in the Twentieth Century, Benjamin Flowers explores the role of culture and ideology in shaping the construction of skyscrapers and the way wealth and power have operated to reshape the urban landscape. Flowers narrates this modern tale by closely examining the creation and reception of three significant sites: the Empire State Building, the Seagram Building, and the World Trade Center. He demonstrates how architects and their clients employed a diverse range of modernist styles to engage with and influence broader cultural themes in American society: immigration, the Cold War, and the rise of American global capitalism. Skyscraperexplores the various wider meanings associated with this architectural form as well as contemporary reactions to it across the critical spectrum. Employing a broad array of archival sources, such as corporate records, architects' papers, newspaper ads, and political cartoons, Flowers examines the personal, political, cultural, and economic agendas that motivate architects and their clients to build ever higher. He depicts the American saga of commerce, wealth, and power in the twentieth century through their most visible symbol, the skyscraper.

Introduction: Narratives of the Built Environment: Architecture, Ideology, and Skyscrapers
The Empire State Building: The Setback Skyscraper, The Great Depression, And American Modernism
Building, Money, and Power
Setback Skyscrapers and American Architectural Development
Capital Nightmares
The Politics of American Architecture in the 1930s
The Seagram Building: The Ascension Of The International Style And A Somber Monument To Corporate Authority
Architecture Culture into the 1950s
Clients and Architect
Gangland's Grip on Business
Modern Architecture and Corporate America in the 1950s
The World Trade Center: Urban Renewal, Global Capitalism, And Regeneration Through Violence
Regeneration Through Violence
The Rhetoric and Reality of Urban Renewal
Cathedrals of Commerce: Minoru Yamasaki, Skyscraper Design, and the Rise of Postmodernism
Conclusion: Into the Future
Epilogue
Notes
Index
Acknowledgments

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