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  1. #196

    Arrow Manhattan 1970s

    1973 special



    the world trade center (1973-2001):
    a tribute


    chapter 1


    the rise of the twin towers (1966-1973)


    part 2


    the construction



    Hi friends!!!, Welcome back on my thread abouth the history of New York skyscrapers during the 20th. Century. Now, continuing our trip throught the city of 1970's, now I show the second part of the first chapter of the history of the original World Trade Center. Now I show the process of construction of the Twin Towers that begun in August 5, 1966 and ended with its dedication on April 4, 1973.

    Demolition and excavation

    Ground was broken on Radio Row on August 5, 1966, two and half years after the final scheme was unveiled and after of three years of negotiantions between the New York Port Authority. Few months ago, a small army of construction workers begun to demolish the neighborhood's existing buildings on the site. According with Bill Harris (2001):

    "The debris was dumped into the Hudson River, begining what would become the biggest landfill in the city's history, even dwarfing the tons of dirt and rocks that had to be disposed of when the subways were built sixty years earlier" (Harris, Bill. The World Trade Center. A Tribute. Philladelphia. Courage Books. 2001. Pages 49-51).

    Harris (2001) continues:

    "The next step, which the Port Authority's flacks characterized as 'miraculous,' took advantage of an experimental technique that had been developed to build the subway system in Milan. It involved pouring a three-foot-thick (0.9m) concrete wall seventy feet (21 m) below the surface, where it was attached to the bedrock with steel cables for more than an thousand feet (305 m) around the rim of the site. Its major purpose was to hold back the waters of the Hudson River as well as the subsoil around the perimeter. Once the wall was in place, excavations began removing the earth and thousands of long-buried artifacts that had accumulated there over more than three hundred years. As foundation work began, the engineers faced a delicate problem in shorting up the old cast-iron tunnels of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad. Their work was so succesful that the trains kept running all though the project with no disruption in service and no inconvenience to passangers, many of whom would eventually work in these buildings" (Harris. 2001. Page 51).


    August 1966. Construction was begun. Aerial view of Manhattan island looking north showing Lower Manhattan and WTC site that show the beginning of the demolition works. Photo: Skyviews Aerial Surveys.




    Land clearing process on Radio Row. September 1967. The old New York Telephone (Barclay and Vessey) Building as seen on background.




    WTC's contention concrete wall scheme. 1966. Photo: 911 Research. Link: http://911research.wtc7.net/mirrors/...ews-record.htm.





    Installation of concrete wall. 1967. Photo: 911 Research.




    World Trade Center's excavations: old Hudson Terminal's railway tunnel. 1968. Photo: 911 Research.



    A new landfil being creating on Hudson River's shore with the debris from World Trade Center's excavation. July 1968. Photo: Hideaki Sato. Photo 1 of 2




    Photo 2 of 2





    Harris (2001) continues:

    "Once the huge pit was finished, heavy steel plates were anchored to the bedrock, the first step in building the Trade Center's foundation, and after the concrete floor was added, the buildings were ready to rise" (Harris. 2001. Page 51).


    The rises.

    Construction of the towers begun to rises on late Summer of 1968 when the fondations were ready to build the steel frame of the buildings. The first steel beams of North Tower's concourse floors begun to take shape in October 1968.

    For the construction of the towers, according with Harris, the Port Authority developed a special type of cranes "that was capable of lifting itself up floor by floor for less time" (Harris. 2001. Page 52). The cranes, knowing as "jumping kangaroos was made in Australia and was ensamble in New York, was specially made for the construction of Twin Towers.

    Foundations work progress. The North Tower's central core begun to rises. December 1968. Photo: 911 Research.














    The North Tower begun to rises from its foundation in March 1969 and South Tower begun to rises sixth month after. For the construction of the towers, according with Bill Harris "four-thousand construction workers were assembled on the site every working day, and their activities needed to be cordinated in much the same way as a circus ringmaster makes sure that every act comes on and goes off a tight schedule" (Harris. 2001. Fragment). In comparision with the Empire State Building's construction, where the construction material were puttin in the street, the Twin Towers's steel beams "were quickly hauled up to the top of the rising frame and the thuck that brought them then drove off to make room of the next load" (Harris. 2001. Fragment).

    March 1969. The North Tower began to rises. Photo: 911 Research.



    A Kangaroo crane making its work putting a steel frame. March 1969. Photo: 911 Research.



    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking north showing the WTC's North Tower that begun to rises (left). April 1969. Photo: Skyviews Aerial Surveys.



    Construction activity on the World Trade Center site. April 1969. Photo: Hideaki Sato.



    Construction activity on the World Trade Center. A man watching the construction progress. May 1969. Photo: Hideaki Sato.


    Construction activity on the World Trade Center: The North Tower (center) now reach 11 stories. The South Tower (center) begun to rise. June 1969. Photo: Hideaki Sato




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking north showing construction progress on the WTC site. August 1969.



    Aerial view of the North Tower of the World Trade Center Twin Towers under construction looking northwest. September 1969. Now, the North Tower rises 26 stories.



    Construction activity on World Trade Center. The Twin Towers under construction as seen from a Parking Lot. October 1969.




    By January 1970 the North Tower rises 43-stories and was begining to make its presence on Lower Manhattan's skyline. Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking northwest. January 1970.



    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking west from Brooklyn. The World Trade Center's North Tower under construction begun to dominate the skyline. April 1970. Photo: Skyviews Aerial Surveys.



    Lower Manhattan skyline's new look takes shape and the North Tower begun to make its presense. Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge. View to the southwest. April 1970.



    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction looking east. May 1970.



    Aerial view of the Twin Towers under construction looking northeast. May 1970.




    Aerial view of the Statue of Liberty. Lower Manhattan appear on the background and the new Twin Towers of WTC under construction begining to dominate the skyline. May 1970.



    Pollution in New York City. Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking north. May 1970.




    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center looking northeast. July 1970.




    Lower Manhattan skyline. View looking north from Staten Island Ferry after the One New York Plaza's fire. The WTC's North Tower dominate the skyline. August 1970. Photo: Aeromexico.




    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction. View looking north showing the Empire State Building (background) September 1970. The North Tower almost rises 100 stories.



    Another aerial view of the new WTC towers. September 1970. Photo: A. Belva. ARCHITECTURAL RECORD Magazine. December 1970.



    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction looking northeast. September 1970.



    The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction looking north from Downtown Athletic Club. September 1970.



    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking north. The North Tower of the WTC under construction dominate the skyline. October 1970.




    Lower Manhattan's Financial District new skyline looking west from Brooklyn Harbor in October 1970. The World Trade Center's North Tower dominates the skyline.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking northeast showing the World Trade Center's Twin Towers under construction (background). November 1970.



    Lower Manhattan's Financial District looking southeast from World Trade Center's North Tower 107 floor while it was under construction. The building under constructiuon on foreground is the 55-story One Liberty Plaza, that schedule for completion until 1973. November 1970.



    The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction from Battery Park City landfill. December 1970. In December 23, 1970, the North Tower's 110-story, 1450 feet steel skeleton was topped-out.



    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center looking northeast. One day after the North Tower's topping-out ceremony. Christmas 1970.



    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction looking south. January 1971.




    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction looking northeast. February 1971. Photo: Charles Rotkin.



    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking north with the Twin Towers under construction. Midtown appears on the background. March 1971.



    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking west from East River showing the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction. March 1971.




    The new Battery Park's skyscrapers looking from a Staten Island's ferry. In the background the Twin Towers under construction. March 1971.





    Night view of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge. March 1971. The new Twin Towers were rising up behind Brooklyn Bridge.




    Night view of Lower Manhattan skyline looking west from Brooklyn Harbor. March 1971. The North Tower dominates the skyline.




    Night view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction from East River. The Brooklyn Bridge is on foreground. March 1971.




    The new look of the Lower Manhattan skyline with the Twin Towers under construction. View looking north from Staten Island ferry. March 1971.




    The Towers rises up behind the Woolworth Building. View from Municipal Building. March 1971.




    The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction from Park Row. March 1971.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking southwest with the World Trade Center towers under construction at right. April 1971.




    Night view of Lower Manhattan from Empire State Building looking south. The Twin Towers under construction dominates the new skyline. April 1971.




    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction looking west. May 1971. The steel skeleton of South Tower quickily rises up to reach to big sister.





    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking north. July 1971. The Twin Towers appers on foreground few weeks before the South Tower's topped-out ceremony. Photo: Thomas Airviews.




    Seven months after of the completion of North Tower's steel structure, the South Tower was topped out in July 1971. The steel skeleton of both towers were completed. Since late 1970, the lower floors of the North Tower were begun to be occupied by Port Authority office workers.

    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction. September 1971. The last kangaroo crane was dismanteled.





    Lower Manhattan skyline looking southwest from Civic District showing the new 15-story One Police Plaza (foreground) and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (background, far right) under construction. September 1971.




    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking north showing the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction. November 1971.




    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction looking southeast. November 1971. The North Tower appear that was being nearly completion.




    The new Lower Manhattan skyline looking northeast from Hudson River with the Twin Towers of WTC under construction that dominates the skyline. November 1971.




    New Lower Manhattan skyline looking north from Staten Island ferry, showing the new 110-story Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction. March 1972.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan's Financial District skyline looking northeast showing the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction on left. April 1972.




    Lower Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges from East River the World Trade Center can see in background. April 1972.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan skyline that was dominated by the new WTC Twin Towers. View looking west from East River. April 1972.




    Aerial view of the new World Tallest Buildings: the 110 story World Trade Center Twin Towers under construction looking south. The North Tower and the two low-rise buildings were nearing completion. May 1972.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan's new skyline looking northeast. June 1972.




    In 1972, officially the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center was become World's Tallest Building, surpassing the Empire State Building by 200 feet tall.


    Aerial view of the new 110-story Twin Towers of the World Trade Center under construction looking east. The old Woolworth Building can see on the left of North Tower. The new 55-story One Liberty Plaza can see on the right of South Tower. June 1972. In June 1972 the North Tower was nearly completion and the South Tower appears with this facade until the 98 floor. The last stage of the construction of the towers were begun.




    Night view of the Lower Manhattan skyscrapers looking northwest showing Midtown Manhattan on the background. July 1972. Photo: National Geographic. The Twin Towers appears fully illuminated on left.





    Impressive view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center nearing completion from its plaza. August 1972.





    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center nearly completion looking southeast. October 1972.




    A detail of the World's Tallest Buildings nearing completion. View from Broadway. March 1973.





    Aerial view of the unfinished towers few weeks before its dedication. View looking northeast. March 1973.





    Next week, the opening ceremony of the unfinished World Trade Center.

    your opinion are very important!!!

    if you have a opinion about my thread or you want to put a picture of new york city's skyscraper history, please, show here!!!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 24th, 2010 at 10:49 PM. Reason: Added more information

  2. #197

    Default Manhattan 1970s

    1973 special



    the world trade center (1973-2001):
    a tribute


    chapter 1


    the rise of the twin towers (1966-1973)


    part 3


    opening and critics

    Hi, friends, I'm back again with this travel through the history of the New York skyscrapers. Now, continuing with the year 1973 and few days before of 9th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, I show the third and last part of the first chapter of my personal tribute of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Now, I show the history of the towers since its dedication on April 4, 1973 until the completion of the complex's original buildings, in 1976 and the critics about the building.

    Opening Ceremony

    In the rainy day, on April 4, 1973, the World Trade Center complex was officially dedicated, three years before its completion. The complex's two first lower building, (5 and 6 WTC) included the new headquarters of the U.S. Custom House, on 5 WTC, and its unfinished 110-story Twin Towers (1 and 2 WTC) were finally open to the busines. The official dedication of the World Trade Center including words from New York's Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, and the ceremony were held in the North Tower's lobby.

    According with Robert A. Stern (1997), the inflation causes the cost of the construction of the World Trade Center was finally more high than originally planned:

    "Through it was no larger than when it was originally planned, economic inflation and vast overruns had combined to push its price tag from $350 million to $800 million. Ten thousand people were already to work in it and 80 percent of its office space was spoken for" (Stern, Robert A.M., Mellins, Thomas., Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and Urbanism Between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Page 202).

    Aerial view of the unfinished Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in the time of its dedication. View looking west showing other Lower Manhattan's skyscrapers April 1973.



    Aerial view of the unfinished towers. April 1973.




    The lobby of the North Tower. April 4, 1973. Photo: Wavz13. Flickr. Link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/wavz13/




    Minoru Yamasaki and his master work. April 1973. Behing him, the Fritz Koening sculpture "Globe".



    World's Tallest Buildings

    At the time of the towers were dedicated, in 1973, there was the World's Tallest Buildings supprasing the 102-story, 1250-foot Empire State Building. It was preserved the tittle only one year until the Sears Tower was dedicated, in 1974. Finally, the towers' exterior were completed on the last months of 1974.


    In May 1973, the WTC towers were dominated Manhattan Island. Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking northeast.



    The two rivals: The former king, the Empire State Building (foreground) and the new New York skyline's king: the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Aerial view looking south. May 1973.



    Several aerial views of the Unfinished Twin Towers of the World Trade Center after its official opening. May 1973.

    View looking west.



    View looking northeast.



    View looking southeast showing the old skyscrapers that was the former Lower Manhattan's tallest and now with the Twin Towers it was reduced to liliputhiense size.



    Another view looking northeast.



    Aerial view looking west from East River, with Brooklyn Bridge on foreground.




    The Twin Towers dominating the new look of Lower Manhattan skyline. View from Governors Island. May 1973.




    The new kings of New York skyline. Aerial view looking northeast showing the Statue of Liberty. May 1973.





    Night view of the new Lower Manhattan skyline dominating by WTC towers, with the Brooklyn Bridge on foreground. may 1973.





    Golden Towers. Sunset view looking southeast from Hudson River. May 1973.




    World Trade Center (Minoru Yamasaki and Emery Roth & Sons. 1966-1973). View of the unfinished Twin Towers looking southwest from
    Radio Row, showing the tower of St. Paul Chappel on foreground. May 1973.





    Ada Louise Huxtable vs Yamasaki. Acid criticism

    The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center was considered a great engineering marvel, but the Center was not lovely by many architect specialists and criticists.

    The reason was very simple: the monumental size of the Twin Towers was dramatically altered the traditional composition of the Lower Manhattan's skyline. Many specialist considered that the World Trade Center towers destroyed the "mountain" shape of Financial District skyline that it was preserved since early 1930s and was dominated by towers like the Bank of Manhattan Building, the 60 Wall Tower, the City Bank and Farmers Trust Building, the Irving Trust Building, the Woolworth Building, the 120 Wall Street Building, and others, and in this panorame were included the modern 64-story slab of the Chase Manhattan Bank Building of 1960.

    In effect, while the Twin Towers was under construction, simultaneosly, a great number of office buildings were built on Lower Manhattan and many of them rounded between the 30 and more of 50 stories high. Many of these buildings were built, mainly, in the East River shoreline, between Battery Park and Brooklyn Bridge and the Financial District's zone to east of the towers and mean the destruction of many landmarks buildings like the Singer Building or the old South Street 18th and early 19th Century buildings.

    Many of these buildings that be constructed between 1966 and 1973 was:

    54-story U.S. Steel Building (One Liberty Plaza, 1968-1973), that was build on the site of old Singer Tower and the City Investing Building.
    55-story 55 Water Street Building (1969-1973), that was build ond the site of many old 19th Century buildings, included the old 13-story Seamen Church Institute office building (1913)
    52-story Marine Midland Building (1967)
    50-story One New York Plaza (1969)
    44-story Two New York Plaza (1971)
    44-story Bankers Trust Building (1974, latter was known as the Deutsche Bank Building, that was under construction in 1973 and was damaged by the destruction of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001 attacks)
    40-story One Battery Park Plaza (1969)
    37-story One State Street Building (1971)
    35-story East River Savings Bank (1971)
    33-story 127 John Street Building (1971)
    33-story 88 Pine Street Building (1973)
    30-story 100 Wall Street Building (1969-70)
    27-story 77 Water Street Building (1970)
    27-story First National City Bank Building (1968)
    23-story Four New York Plaza (1968)
    23-story Seamens Church Institue on Battery Park (1968)

    ... and the others.

    The most acid criticist of the World Trade Center towers was Ada Louise Huxtable, where, in a article that was published on The New York Times, one day after the opening of the Trade Center, on April 5, 1973, wrote about the towers critc Yamasaki's masterpiece. A fragment of her article, was reproduced by Robert A.M. Stern on his book New York 1960:

    "The towers are pure technology, the lobbies are pure schmaltz, and the impact on New York ... is pure speculation ... In spite of their size, the towers emphasize an almost miniature module... The module is so small, and the 22-inch-wide windows so narrow, that one of the miraculous benefit of the tall building, the panoramic view out, is destroyed... These are big buildings but they are not great architecture. The grill-like metal facade stripes are curiously without scale. They taper into the more widely-spaced columns of 'Gothic trees' at the lower stories, a detail that does not express structure so much as tart it up. The Port Authority has built the ultimate Disneyland fairytale blockbuster. It is General Motors Gothic" (Huxtable, Ada Louise. Big but Not So Bold: Trade Center Tower Are Tallest, but Architecture Is Smaller in Scale. The New York Times. April 5, 1973. Page 34. Reproduced by Stern, Robert A.M. New York 1960. 1997. Page 202).

    But Yamasaky defended his work. Harris (2001) arguying that during a press conference, Yamasaki says:

    "' I was trained in the twenties and early thirties, when Classic design was the theme of the day. Though the traditional historic architectures I was taught then are not appropiate to our present-day techniques of building, they graceful proportions are still vital to any structure.' Otherwise, the architect kept his own reaction to criticism to himself. During a press conference at the Trade Center dedication, a reporter asked why he had built two 110-story towers when the new techniques would easily have allowed him to build a single one rising up to 220 stories... 'I didn't want to lose the human scale,' he quipped" (Harris. 2001. Page 57).


    "These are big buildings, but they are not great architecture" Ada Louise Huxtable. April 5, 1973, about the monumentally of the Twin Towers.




    The Towers that the people begun to love.

    Fortunatelly, a serie of events begun to change the image about the World Trade Center's towers and made a possitive atention about the Towers to begun to be see a lovely icon.

    The first event succeded in the morning of August 7, 1974, when a french acrobat, Philippe Petit, walk in a tightrope between the two towers, 1450 feet above the street. According with Stern, Petit, "set out on a forty-five-minute, 131-foot-long walk -a walk along a tightrope that he had secretly stretched between the roofs of the two towers during the night- astounding thousands of office-bound workers in the plaza below as he entertained them with knee bends and other stunts. Asked why he did it, Petit, a professional stuntman who was to develop architectural high-wire walking into a speciallity, replied: 'If I see three oranges I have a juggle. And I see two towers, I have to walk'" (Stern. 1997. Page 205).

    Philippe Petit. August 7, 1974. Photo: Mr. Memphis1982 Flickr.com





    The second event, In October 1975, a observatory deck were open on the 107th and 110th floors of South Tower. Designed by interior architect Warren Platner and the graphic designer Milton Glasser, the observatory "not only offered extraordinary views of the city, the harbor and the suburban areas beyond, but also treated visitors to an informative exhibition about marketing around the world" (Stern. 1997. Page 205). In 1976, a new luxury restaurant, Windows on the World, was open on the 107 floor of North Tower.

    Windows on the World restaurant. 1990's




    Midtown Manhattan looking north from World Trade Center's observation roof. 1976. Photo: CanadaGood. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/canadagood/





    The thrid event was definitive for the fame of the Twin Towers. In Dino de Laurentis' 1976 remake movie King Kong, the World Trade Center was usurped the role of the Empire State Building had player in the original film of 1933.

    King Kong. 1976. Photo: The New York Times. Link: http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/20..._CA0ready.html





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking west from East River. July 1973.




    The Twin Towers. July 1973.




    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in October 1973. View looking southwest.




    The Twin Towers of World Trade Center when it was finally completed. 1974.



    Towers elevation. 1974.




    A sunset view of the Twin Towers. January 1974.





    Next week, a 1973 special of 55 Water Street and One Liberty Plaza.


    your opinion are very important!!!


    if you have a opinion about my thread or you want to put a picture of new york city's skyscraper history, please, show here!!!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; April 8th, 2011 at 10:01 PM.

  3. #198

    Default Manhattan 1970s

    1973 special




    the one liberty plaza and 55 water street building





    world trade center's consecuences

    Hi friends!!! I'm back again with this travel through the history of the New York City skyscrapers. Now, continuing with the 1970's, and speciallity, in 1973 I show a special dedicated a two World Trade Center's consecuences: the 54-story One Liberty Plaza and the 56-story 55 Water Street Buidling.

    As I say in last week, in my post about the dedication of the World Trade Center, the planning and construction of the Trade Center, motivate a many developers to build a few number of buildings that dramatically changed the traditional face of Lower Manhattan Skyline, that many architectural specialists, architectural historians and preservacionist activist, and criticist considered that the construction of many buildings, including the Twin Towers, destroying the traditional "mountain" shape of its traditional skyline, dominated during almost 40 years by art-deco jewells like 40 Wall Street Building, the City Investing Tower, the Woolworth, the City Bank and Farmers Trust and Irving Towers.

    While the Twin Towers was under construction (1966-1973), simultaneosly, a great number of office buildings were built on Lower Manhattan and many of them rounded between the 30 and more of 50 stories high. Many of these buildings were built, mainly, in the East River shoreline, between Battery Park and Brooklyn Bridge and the Financial District's zone to east of the towers and mean the destruction of many landmarks buildings like the Singer Building or the old South Street 18th and early 19th Century buildings.


    Lower Manhattan skyline looking north from Governors Island. 1953.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking north when its transformation were begun. April 1962.




    In January 1968, when the WTC excavation works were on progress and the East River's shoreline first building were under construction. Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking north. January 1968.





    In October 1970, when the transformation were on progress.





    1973: The new Lower Manhattan skyline. Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking north. November 1973.




    Many of these buildings that be constructed between 1966 and 1973 was:

    54-story U.S. Steel Building (One Liberty Plaza, 1968-1973), that was build on the site of old Singer Tower and the City Investing Building.
    56-story 55 Water Street Building (1969-1973), that was build ond the site of many old 19th Century buildings, included the old 13-story Seamen Church Institute office building (1913)
    52-story Marine Midland Building (1967)
    50-story One New York Plaza (1969)
    44-story Two New York Plaza (1971)
    44-story Bankers Trust Building (1974, latter was known as the Deutsche Bank Building, that was under construction in 1973 and was damaged by the destruction of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001 attacks)
    40-story One Battery Park Plaza (1969)
    37-story One State Street Building (1971)
    35-story East River Savings Bank (1971)
    33-story 127 John Street Building (1971)
    33-story 88 Pine Street Building (1973)
    30-story 100 Wall Street Building (1969-70)
    27-story 77 Water Street Building (1970)
    27-story First National City Bank Building (1968)
    23-story Four New York Plaza (1968)
    23-story Seamens Church Institue on Battery Park (1968).


    The One Liberty Plaza.

    In 1967, demolition works begun on the 48-story old French Renaissance Singer Building and the 33-story City Investing Building (boths was completed in 1908) and one year after, excavation work begun on the site for a new building: the 55-story, 772-feet-high United States Steel Headquarters Building, better know as the One Liberty Plaza.

    These building was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merril and built between 1968 and 1972, but the building was open to the business until early 1973, when the works of painting the facade of black was complete.

    According with Robert A.M. Stern (1997) in his book New York 1960:

    "The building filled in the block bounded by Broadway, Liberty, Church and Cortland streets, while the block inmediately to its south, bounded by Broadway, Cedar, Church and Liberty Streets, was also cleared to create a public open space dubbed Liberty Plaza. This lay inmediately to the west of 140 Broadway and formed a third link in the chain of pedestrian-only open spaces that was being forged from the Chase Plaza on the east to the World Trade Center. The unusued development rights from the Liberty Plaza site were combined with those of the block to the north to permit the construction of 1.8 million square feet of net office space, piled in an exceptionally bulky 250-by-150 foot slab rising fifty-four stories of 772 feet high. The plaza, however, was not fully realized until 1980, because the Chock full o'Nuts restaurant, a ground floor tenant of one of the buildings on the site, refuse to give up its very valuable lease. This forced the developters, U.S. Steel in joint venture with the Galbreath-Ruffin Corporation, to demolish all the other buildings on the site as well as eleven stories above the Chock full o'Nuts restaurant and develop the plaza in stages" (Stern, Robert A.M., Mellins, Thomas., Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and Urbanism Between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Pages 180-181).

    Construction of One Liberty Plaza


    Demolition works begun on the Singer Building. July 1967. Photos courtesy of: Sleep New York Forum. Link: http://sleepny.lefora.com/2010/07/28...in-the-world-/.





    Demolition work on the City Investing Building. April 15, 1968. Photo: Landmarks 45. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/landmar...7623378014127/





    Construction of the One Liberty Plaza, built on the Singer Building's site, from World Trade Center's North Tower, while it was under construction. View looking southeast. November 1970.



    The One Liberty Plaza nearby completion (center) between Chase Manhattan Bank and Marine Midland towers (left) and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (right) under construction. View looking southwest. September 1971.





    The One Liberty Plaza (the tall white building at right) appears behind Twin Towers, at left, in July 1972, in the time that the works to paint the building's facade to black begun. Photo: LIFE Magazine.




    Works to paint the building to black continuing in October 1972. The One Liberty Plaza appear at right behind the 88 Pine Street Building (the white structure at foreground).






    Stern continues:

    "The huge mass of One Liberty Plaza was made to seem even more hulking by the unusual structural system devised by the architects working close collaboration with U.S. Steel, who viewed the headquarters building as a showcase for their principal product. The building consisted of exceptionally wide (fifty feet) structural bays spanned by six-foot-deep plate gilders. This solution was influenced by the design for the Civic Center in Chicago, which SOM worked on with two other architectural firms, C.F. Murphy Associates and Loebi, Schlosman & Bennett. The superscale structural frame was exposed on the outside of the building. To prevent the possibility of fire-induced structural failure, flame canopies were developed to conceal the fireproofing between the top and bottom beam flanges as well as between the sprandels and gilders. This fireproofing was in turn cased in more steel so that, in effect, what appears to be the structure is not. The enormous size of the spandrels, combined with the extra depth of their flanges due to the flame canopies, resulted in highly sculptured window wall that heightebed the sense of mass" (Stern. 1997. Page 181).


    The One Liberty Plaza (U.S. Steel Headquarters Building). Skidmore, Owings & Merril (1969-1973). View to east from World Trade Center's construction site. April 1973.




    Detail of the facade. View looking northwest from Marine Midland's plaza, showing the unfinished Twin Towers of the WTC on background (extreme left). January 1973. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    The building from 90 West Street Building. May 1973.




    Verticallity... a great elevation.





    The new 54-story building from Irving Trust Annex Building's plaza, on Lower Broadway, showing the Trinity Church. May 1973.





    55 Water Street

    The another of many buildings that was conceived as a consecuence of the development of the World Trade Center, is the 55 Water Street. Located in a superblock created by joining four small-scale blocks, between Water and South Streets (Franklyn Delano Roosevelt Drive), Old Slip and Jeannette Park, was developted by the Uris Brothers and designed and built by Emery Roth & Sons, between 1968 and 1973.

    The building was conceived in 1968, as a part of the Lower Manhattan's Financial District urban renewal program, that was launched by the construction of the Trade Center, which their purposed give a new life for the zone as worldwide financial center.

    In order to develop the new project, the developers demolished all the buildings located in the land for the new building, including the old 1913 Seamen's Church Institute Building, shortly after the Institute moved a new 22-story red-brick headquarters building on 15 State Street, on Battery Park, which it was finished in 1968. The building, according with Stern consist in "projecting stair tower topped by a lighted cross, and walls of texture brick and exposed concrete" (Stern. 1997. Page 183). The institute stay in their Battery Park's headquarters until 1983, when they were moved to a new headquarters on a old 19th Century renewed buildings in South Street Seaport, and finally, its modern Battery Park headquarters was sold in 1985 and finally, it was demolished to make way a postmodern 45-story office building.

    The old medieval-style Seamen's Church Institute, on South Street and Jeanette Park, on the future site of 55 Water Street (1913-1968).

    Photo of 1913. Photo: Chauncy_Primm. Flickr.com. Link: flickr.com/photos/12104215@N03/2516813825






    The same building in the 1950's. Photo: Wired New York.





    The new 22-story Seamen's Church Institute on Battery Park (1968-1985). The building in July 1968. Photo: subzero65. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/subzero...n/photostream/





    According with Stern (1997):

    "Desihgned by Emery Roth & Sons, 55 Water Street was extraordinary bulky; it was, in fact, the second largest office building in the world (only the Pentagon in Washington was larger) and the largest commercial office building, with over three million square feet of rentable space. The project consisted of a massive fifty-six-story slab set perpendicular to Water Street and a fifteen-story slope-walled wing at right angles to it. The typical tower floors contained over 55,000 square feet of space and the lower fifteen floors almost double that amount. The crudely detailed, Brutalist exterior, with its insistently grided base and dark glass tower, was surely no worse than its neighbors at One and Two New York Plaza, but, as Huxtable noted when the project was announced in 1969, at 'this scale the cuestion of aesthetics ceases to be the main consideration. Architectural designs of the individual structure almost becomes irrelevant in the face of what it does to the city.... What really matters is the planning that will maker one building relate to other and to the area and its supporting facilities'" (Stern. 1997. Pages 183-184).


    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan's Financial District looking west from East River with a montage of the 55 Water Street Project. May 1968. Photo: Skyviews Aerial Surveys. From ARCHITECTURAL RECORD MAGAZINE. April 1969.




    Stern continues:

    "Ironically, the very existence of the building was due to the intervention of the city goverment. Throught the Office of Lower Manhattan Development, under the direction of Richard Buford (who was also the executive director of the City Planning Department), the city negotiated a deal with the Uris Brothers permitting the street closings in return for a number of planning concessions and civic amenities, including a new park as well a plaza elevated twelve feet above grade (to permit parking of 521 cars below). To achieve this particular public benefit, a special zzoning amendement was passed so that the raised plazza could be considerated as open space. Future connections to a proposed east side subway were also promised by the developer. The building was, in fact, the first structure to conform to the general principles of the Lower Manhattan Plan, which had been submitted to the city in 1966. While the plan called for a new development on landfill to the east of Water Street, 55 Water Street ocupped land filled in long ago, but its site formed a key link between the upland and the new waterfront" (Stern. 1997. Page 184).


    Excavation works in the site of the future 55 Water Street. Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking northwest. May 1969.





    In October 1970, the 55 Water Street's main structure begun to rises. Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking north showing the 55 Water Street Building under construction (the little steel structure, at right). October 1970.




    Night view of Lower Manhattan skyline looking west from Brooklyn. March 1971. The steel skeleton of 55 Water Street can see on left.




    The building under construction. November 1971.




    One and Two New York Plaza and the 56-story 55 Water Street under construction in March 1972. View from East River.





    Stern continues:

    "Lawrence Halprin & Associates, landscape architects headquarted in San Francisco, were initially hired to design the new Jeanette Park and the elevated plaza. Halprin's early sketch models suggested a design similar to one he had recently executed to much acclaim in Portland, Oregon, with extensive use of abstract, rocklike reinforce-concrete outcroppings, water and grass. The plaza was intented eventually to span the elevated higway along South Street and to connect with Manhattan Landing, a development for a riverside site to be created on pilings. Halprin's design was not carried out, however, and by 1970 the commision was in the hands of M. Paul firedberg and Associates, who created a plaza paved in brick and embellished with pools. But, as Huxtable lamented in 1973, shyortly after the complex was completed, 'Although the park is handsome, it is oppressively hard surfaced.... A bit of greenery can go a long way, but even landscape architects seem to be allergic to it'" (Stern. 1997: Fragment).

    A few pictures of the new 55 Water Street.


    56-story 55 Water Street Building (Emery Roth & Sons 1968-1973). May 1973. Photo: Gil Amiaga.




    Inmense presence on Lower Manhattan skyline. May 1973.




    Next, a general panorama of 1973.


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  4. #199
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    1966 - 1973: A horrid legacy for NYC architecture.

  5. #200

    Default Manhattan 1970s

    1973

    Hi, friends! We continue again, with this trip through the history of the development of the skyscrapers in New York City during the 20th Century. Now, continuing our visit in the 1970's, today we will show a general panorama of the development of city's skyline during 1973.

    1973 was a key year in all the ways for New York City. On the one side, the petroleum crisis that occurs in the last months of the year aggravated even more the delicate economic situation that suffered the city since the mid 1960's and that in that year many mass media and specialists says about the city was in total bankruptcy. The rise to the prices of the petroleum affected all the industry, and in the case that corresponds to us analyzes, it finished almost paralyzing the industry of the construction when get rises the cost of the materials, whose production depended on petroleum.

    1973 was the year of the Watergate scandal. The appearance of evidence that accused directly to president Nixon in the case of espionage in the offices of the Democratic party, a year before, this one it began to realise a hunting of sorceresses against the public prosecutors who were in charge of the case. Remember the forced dismissal of the mean fiscal Archibald Cox? When the year was end, with so many evidences that incrimiated him, Nixon was in the tightrope and, when it the mass media published the existence of a several number of tapes that containing a controversial information about spying activities of the President. The tapes, although of they intentionaly altered, had sufficient information to indicate to the World's most powerfull man appears as the intellectual author of the espionage activities agains Democrat, in special, against McGovern. The public opinion, could not be more indignant by the public exhibition of the crimes of Richard Nixon in the mass media.

    1973 marked the begining of the end of the Vietnam War, and many American soldiers began the return to their houses, with the weight of the shame and the accusing glance of the public opinion and the soldiers themself, with a indignation against the American goverment. That year also was of the Yom Kipur's war, that even more tightened the relation of Israel with the Muslim in Middle Orient. Also during 1973 American war intervention on Cambodia was intensified.

    1973, ironically, in a September 11, in Chile, the socialist goverment headed by Salvador Allende was derrocated by the troops that was commanded by Augusto Pinochet. Allende, resisted the military attack but he died defending his government. That was the begining of one of the most dark pages of the political history of the nations of Latin America, with the massive arrival of military dictatorships that later culminated with the arrival of a similar dictatorship in Argentina three years later. In Nicaragua, with the corruption showed with the tragical earthquake, that destroyed the capital, Managua on December 1972, the dictatorship of the Somoza family began to be stagger. In Mexico 1973 was the year of the economic inflation that announced the end of more of 20 years of economic stability and the rise of national terrorism: As a result of the bloody events of 1968 and 1971, the country began to live a time on guerrilla movements against the government. The Mexican, repressive government, finished eliminating all the movements of insurgency, beginning when the terrorist group "Liga 23 de Septiembre", was in a intent of kidnapping of the powerfull Monterrey's industrial tycoon, Eugenio Garza Sada, for the police who intent to rescue him.

    Nevertheless, 1973 were the year of the extravagances in the fashion, that in the masculine and feminine fashion began to notice certain nostalgia by the fashion of the 1930's and the 1940's, and the bell-bottom trousers were of general use and were for all the tastes and measures and the platform shoes, in the both sexes, reached unexpected heights.

    Rock and Pop music reached their technological perfection with the popularization of the electronic sintetizador that produced hallucinating sounds. It is the year of the triumph of the Glam Rock and, derivative of this, along with the funk rithms of the Philadelphia's Sound and the Motown Sound of black music, dancing in their majority, begins to appear the first sounds and rithms of Music Disc.

    In the history of the development of New York's skyscrapers, in 1973, when the fiscal crisis below I mentioned that was severely affecting the city, along with rises of the construction materials, derivided of the increase of the prices of oil, almost paralyzed the construction of skyscrapers in Manhattan, that I considered 1973 that the year that the office buildings boom, that was started in the end of World War II and is over.

    Nevertheless, 1973 was the year of massive inaugurations of skyscrapers, that almost in their totality had initiated their construction in the last years of the 1960's. Doubtlessly 1973 were the year that was marked by the inauguration of the unfinished Twin Towers of the World Trade Center and with them and the inauguaration of many number of buildings, that was definitively constituted the most memorable city's skyline, that was to ramain without great alterations until the fatal events of September 11, 2001.

    Many buildings was completed or inaugurated during 1973
    • 110-story World Trade Center Twin Towers (unfinished and tottaly completed until mid 1974).
    • 55-story One Liberty Plaza.
    • 56-story 55 Water Street Building.
    • 52-story W.R. Grace Building.
    • 52-story 9 West 57th Street (Solow) Building.
    • 40-story New York Telephone Building. Bryant Park office building (the building was open in early 1974).
    • 52-story Dag Hammaskjord Plaza.
    • 30-story 88 Pine Street Building.
    • 57-story One Penn Plaza Building.
    • 46-story Blue Cross Building.
    • 33-story 1500 Broadway Building.
    • 36-story Squibb Building on 57th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.
    • 52-story Solow Building (the building was completed in mid 1973, but it was opened until 1974).
    • 24-story New York Telephone Building switching Building

    But, less building were under construction:

    45-story Celanesse Building (Building "Z") in Rockefeller Center.
    48-story 1166 Sixth Avenue Building.
    45-story Bankers Trust Building (Deutsche Bank Building).

    And construction activities begun to the next offices buildings:
    55-story Olympic Tower (excavation. The building begun to rises until summer 1973).
    42-story 3 Park Avenue Building (demolition of old 1890's building on the site and excavation works).
    40-story One United Nations Plaza (demolition of existing buildings and excavation.
    40-story New York Telephone office building, next to Brooklyn Bridge .

    Next, a general panorama of New York skyline of 1973:

    The new New York skyline and Statue of Liberty. 1973




    Rockefeller Center promenade. 1973




    The Statue of Liberty. 1973.





    By month:

    The One Liberty Plaza as looking from the Marine Midland Plaza. January 1973. Photo: Ezra Stoller




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking northeast showing the unfinished Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. March 1973.




    New York old icons: New York Public Libary (1913) and 500 Fifth Avenue Tower (1931). March 1973.





    Installation of sculpture "Sun Triangle" on the McGraw-Hill Plaza, on Rockefeller Center. March 1973.





    The Irving Trust Building and the Trinity Church. March 1973




    The One Liberty Plaza as seen from World Trade Center construction site. March 1973.





    The unfinished Twin Towers of World Trade Center few days before its oficial opening. View from Broadway. March 1973.




    Aerial view of the Lower Manhattan looking west showing the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. April 1973.





    The 56-story 55 Water Street Buidling. View from Brooklyn Heights. May 1973.




    45-story 345 Park Avenue Building. May 1973.




    Two modern office buildings: 909 (foreground) and 919 (background) Third Avenue buildings. May 1973. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    The new 33-story 1500 Broadway Building. View of Times Square looking south. May 1973.




    Aerial view of a southwest portion of Central Park. May 1973.




    New skyscrapers on the Plaza District, Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from RCA Building, showing the new 36-story Squibb Building (left), 52-story Solow Building (center) and the 52-story General Motors Building (right). May 1973.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking northwest showing the Empire State Building (foreground) and the new buildings that build in Sixth Avenue and Times Square area that build in the period 1968-1973 (background). The Rockefeller Center and its RCA Building appears in the background, at right. May 1973.




    Night view of Midtown manhattan looking south from RCA Building. The white building of center is the new 52-story Grace Building. The building under construction on foreground (right) is the 48-story 1166 Sixth Avenue Buillding. The Empire State Building can see in the center of the picture totally illuminated and behind it, on the right appear the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. May 1973.





    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking southwest above Park Avenue. May 1973





    Impressive aerial view of all Manhatan Island looking northeast, showing the Twin Towers of WTC (foreground, at right) and the Empire State Building (left, at background), that dominates the Lower Manhattan and Midtown Manhattan skylines, respectly. May 1973




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan with its "New Look", looking northeast. May 1973.





    Two rivals: The Empire State Building (foreground) and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (background, at left). Aerial view looking south in a smoggy day. May 1973.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan looking northeast from Hudson River with a portion of Greenwich Village on foreground. May 1973.





    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking northeast showing the Madison Square Garden District, with its new 57-story One Penn Plaza Building and the 29-story Two Penn Plaza Building (foreground) and the Empire State Building on background, at right. Above the One Penn Plaza, can be seen the Pan Am and Chrysler buildings (center, on background). May 1973.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan new skyline, looking north from East River. The new buildings can be seen on foreground is (from left to right): One and Two New York Plaza, the 55 Water Street, the First National City Bank Building. Behind and above it can see (left to right), the One Liberty Plaza, the Marine Midland Building, the Chase Manhattan Bank Building, the 40 Wall Street Tower, the 60 Wall Tower and the new Federal Building. Midtown Manhattan and the Empire State Building appears on background, at right. May 1973.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan's new and old skyscrapers that dominate by Twin Towers. View looking north. May 1973.





    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center looking west. May 1973.




    Aerial view or the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center looking northeast. May 1973.




    Aerial view of the Twin Towers looking southeast. May 1973.




    Aerial view of the Empire State Building looking northeast, showing the United Nations on background. May 1973.




    Aerial view of the new 57-story One Penn Plaza Building, on West 34th Street between Seventh and Eight Avenues. The new Madison Square Garden appears on foreground. May 1973.




    Aerial view of new Lower Manhattan skyline, that was dominated by Twin Towers of WTC. View looking northeast. May 1973.




    Architect Minoru Yamasaki and his masterwork: the Twin Towers of World Trade Center. Behind Yamasaki, at left, can ser the Fritz Koning's sculpture "Sphere". May 1973.

    Minoru Yamasaki (1912-1986) and Twin Towers of World Trade Center (1973-2001): R.I.P.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan's Financial District skyscrapers and the Brooklyn Bridge. View looking west from East River. May 1973.





    The "New Rockefeller Center". View of the new X,Y and Z buildings from RCA Building looking west. From left to right: the 48-story Celanesse Building (under construction), 51-story McGraw-Hill Building and the Exxon Building. The 54-story One Astor Plaza can be seen on left, on background. May 1973.




    View of the Empire State Building from RCA Building. The white building on foreground is the new 52-story W.R. Grace Building. May 1973.




    Great Army Plaza's skyscrapers that been seen from Central Park, with the 52-story General Motors Building dominating the panorama. May 1973.




    New Lower Manhattan's Financial District skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. May 1973.





    View of Midtown Manhattan looking south from RCA Building with the 50-story 10 East 40th Street Building (1928) and the 58-story Art Deco 500 Fifth Avenue Building (left), the 102-story Art Deco Empire State Building (center) and the new and unfinished 110-story Twin Towers of World Trade Center (on background, at right of the Empire State) and the new and modern 52-story white travertine and black-glass curtain-wall Grace Building (right). May 1973.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State Building. May 1973.




    Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building. May 1973. Photo 1 of 2.




    Photo 2 of 2




    Afternoon view of Midtown Manhattan skyscrapers looking northeast from RCA Building, showing the St. Patrick's Cathedral on foreground. May 1973.




    Sixth Avenue skyscrapers as seen from Burlington House Building, looking east. May 1973.




    The Murray Hill district from Empire State Building. May 1973.




    Lower Manhattan's new skyscrapers as seen from Governors Island looking north. The Twin Towers of WTC dominates the new skyline. May 1973.





    The "New Look" of New York City. Aerial view of Statue of Liberty looking northeast showing Manhattan's skyline that was dominated by the new Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Midtown and the Empire State Building appers at left, on far background. May 1973.




    Night view of the new Lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge. May 1973.





    Night view of Empire State Building from RCA Building. The Empire State Building was flanked by 500 Fifth Avenue Tower (left) and the new Grace Building (right). The Twin Towers appears on background, at right of the Empire State. May 1973.





    The new 54-story One Astor Plaza. View looking west. May 1973.




    Old Art Deco apartment buildings in Central Park West. View looking south. May 1973.





    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking southwest from East River, showing the United Nations at foreground (left). May 1973.




    Night view of Times Square looking south from Duffy's Square. May 1973.





    Night view of the Empire State Building and it environs. View looking southeast from Hudson River. May 1973.




    Night view of Park Avenue. View looking south from 54th Street. May 1973.




    The new 54-story One Liberty Plaza. View looking northeast from 90 West Street Building. May 1973.





    The Pan Am Building and the Grand Central Building (former New York Central Building) as seen from Park Avenue and 51st Street. May 1973.




    The new McGraw-Hill and Exxon Buildings and other Sixth Avenue buildings. View of Sixth Avenues looking northwest from 47th Street. May 1973. Photo. Ezra Stoller.





    Conjugation of old a new styles on skyscrapers art: the Art Deco's Aztec style of the old Paramount Building (foreground) and the minimalism of the black-glass and aluminum curtain-wall of the new One Astor Plaza (background). May 1973.




    Old Art Deco's McGraw-Hill Building. View looking northeast. May 1973.



    The new 40-story (with a height that equivalent of a 55-story ordinary skyscraper) New York Telephone Building (Kahn & Jacobs), on Sixth Avenue between West 41st and 42nd Streets, opposite Bryant Park. May 1973.





    The 21-years old 22-story Lever House Building looks too modern in 1973. The Lever House from Seagram's plaza. May 1973.




    The 64-story Chase Manhattan Bank Building. May 1973.





    View of Sixth Avenue's upper 50's skyscrapers from the new Rockefeller Center's Exxon Building Plaza. Building from left to right are: MGM Building and below it the top of old Warwick Hotel, next it, the ABC and CBS buildings, and the Rockefeller Center's Sperry Rand and American Metal Climax (RKO) buildings with its Radio City Music Hall. May 1973.





    Verticallity of One Liberty Plaza. May 1973.





    The old 1900's elegance of the Plaza Hotel was surrounded by the modernity of early 1970's skyscrapers as the new 52-story Solow Building (left, behind the Plaza) and the 45-story Hemsley Park Lane Hotel (right). May 1973.





    St. Patrick's Cathedral as seen from RCA Building. May 1973.




    The Time & Life Building, on Sixth Avenue. May 1973. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    Golden Twin Towers. Sunset view of the World Trade Center's towers looking southeast from Hudson River. May 1973. Photo: National Geographic Magazine.




    The new 52-story Uris Plaza. View from new McGraw-Hill Building. May 1973.




    Night view of Times Square looking north from 43th Street. May 1973.





    Lower Broadway's skyscrapers as seen looking north from Irving Trust Building's plaza, with the old Trinity Church (foreground), the old Trinity Building (1906) and the new 54-story black slab of One Liberty Plaza (1968-1973). May 1973.




    The new 110-story unfinished Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. View looking west showing the old St. Paul's Chappel. May 1973.





    Midtown Manhattan looking southwest from East River with the United Nations buildings on foreground (left). May 1973.




    The new 33-story white slab of 88 Pine Street Building (I.M. Pei), as seen from East River. July 1973.




    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan's Financial District new skyline, that was dominated by the Twin Towers. View looking southwest from East River. July 1973




    Love in the New York of the 1970's. Evening view of Midtown Skyline as seen from Central Park's Sheep Meadow while two lovers come to loving. July 1973.




    Times Square's new skyscrapers as seen from Empire State Building. July 1973. Can be seen in the top of the One Astor Plaza (center) the W.R. Grant's orange logo.




    New apartment buildings on Amsterdam Avenue between 87th to 97th Streets. July 1973





    The Seagram Building in July 1973.




    Rockefeller Center's Lower Plaza with its Prometeo Statue. July 1973.





    The 102-story Empire State Building. View looking north toward Midtown. July 1973.




    Impressive view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. View looking west. July 1973.




    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center looking north, showing the new 45-story Bankers Trust Building (Deutsche Bank Building) under construction on foreground. September 1973.





    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking north. September 1973.




    Lower Manhattan's Financial District new skyline as seen from Staten Island Ferry. September 1973. Look the early 1970's fashion.




    Lower Manhattan's new office towers as seen from Circle Line ferry on the East River. Buildings from left to right as: One and Two New York Plaza and in the middle of the two buildings apperar one of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers. A part of 55 Water Street Building as seen on the extreme right. September 1973.




    Lower Manhattan skyline as seen from Liberty Island gardens. September 1973.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan's Financial District looking northeast. Can be seen, on foreground a new landfill on process for the future Battery Park City development. October 1973.




    Aerial view of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. View looking southwest. October 1973.




    The Grand Army Plaza's skyscrapers as seen from Central Park's skating rink. October 1973. The General Motors Building dominates the panorama.




    Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building. October 1973.





    Night view of the new One Penn Plaza Building. October 1973.





    Aerial view of Lower Manhattan's Fianncial District looking north. November 1973.





    Next week, a 1973-74 special of the Grace and Solow Buildings: The bottom-bell skyscrapers.


    your opinion are very important!!!
    if you have a opinion about my thread or you want to put a picture of new york city's skyscraper history, please, show here!!!!!




    With this post, my forum "History New York 20th Century" reaches the 200 posts.

    Many thank's of all of people and the team of Wired New York, and Flickr to permit to post my pictures from my personal collection, and many bloggers and the people of Mexico City's Benjamin Franklyn Library and National University of Mexico (UNAM) for makes it possible.

    Thanks to all.


    Last edited by erickchristian; March 5th, 2013 at 03:30 AM.

  6. #201

    Default

    I came across this thread by complete accident while checking the correct spelling of "Manhattan", so obviously I'm not a local but I felt impelled to register and congratulate the thread's creator for posting such a fantastic, compelling pictorial history of an equally compelling city. The images are at once interesting & beautiful and the accompanying text very informative: Much hard work but I'm sure, appreciated by many.

    I was particularly taken with the images of some of the people who helped build NYC. It reminded me that the essence of a wonderful city isn't just the incredible architecture rendered in stone, iron, bricks & steel but the people who assemble it: people who, when you think about it, do extraordinary things as part of their day-to-day lives.

    I salute these everyday people whose strength, courage and faith remain essential components in endeavours much bigger than themselves: the unsung cornerstones; the 'common men' (and women) who's quiet and enduring legacy is simply sweat & hard-work. I enhanced one of the images presented here as my homage to them and in doing this, hope I'm not contravening 100 different copyright laws.

    Last edited by rykers; October 6th, 2010 at 07:40 AM.

  7. #202

    Default Manhattan 1970s

    1973-1974 special



    the grace and solow buildings








    the bell-bottom skyscrapers



    Hi friends!!! , we are back again with this trip through the history of the New York skyscrapers, during the 20th Century. Today, continuing with the 1970s, we show this 1973-1974 special dedicated to two skyscrapers that was considered a pionner of Postmodernist movement: the W. R. Grace and the Solow Building, also know as the "bell bottom" skyscrapers.

    The 50 and 52-story, white travertine marble and black-tinted glass towers, respectively was designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and was build between 1969-1974. Both building can be recognize as twins because there were designed with the same architectonic elements: the curved line of the base (the "bell bottom" shape), which increases the ascensorial impulse of both buildings. Both they have the same architectonic elements in the facade constituted by the bronzed-tinted glass and white-travertine marble curtain-wall facades. Nevertheless, the architectonic composition of both buildings differs significantly: while in the Grace the white marble dominates in its curtain-wall facade, in the Solow, the bronze glass dominate all the facade. These elements made of these buildings a first postmodernism pioneers.

    Both buildings were point of controversy in the late 1960s and early 1970s, because its presence altered significantly the traditional composition of the zones that there was built: in the case of the Grace Building, its presence destroyed the traditional composition of limestone and Beaux Arts and Art-Deco elements of old Bryant Park old 1910's-1920's and 1930's skyscrapers, while the ultra-modernist of the Solow Building means the total destruction of the residential character of the West 57th Street District, when since 1970 many office buildings begun to rises up in the zone (888 Seventh Avenue Building and the new Squibb Building).

    The history of two buildings begun in late 1960's.

    The W.R. Grace Building: the monolith of Bryant Park.

    The 50-story W.R. Grace Building at 41 West 42nd Street, was the last of the two buildings that be designed, in 1969, but it was of the first of the two buildings that be completed between late 1972 and early 1973. The building replaced a old 9-story Stern Brothers department store building.

    According with Robert A.M. Stern (1997):

    "In 1969 the Stern Brothers department store closed its flaship store (J. B. Snook & Sons) after fifty-six years on the block. Plans were immediately announced for its replacement, a fifty-story supeslab, the W.R. Grace Building, at 41 West Forty- second Street or 1114 Avenue of the Americas, extending to Sixth Avenue by virtue of a plaza at the southeast corner of Forty-third Street" (Stern, Robert A.M., Mellins, Thomas., Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and Urbanism Between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Page 464). 0.

    Construction works for the Grace Building begun with the demolition of the old Stern store building in the summer and autum of 1969 and excavation and foundations work continues between autum 1969 and spring of 1970. The building's steel structure begun to rise in May of 1970 and the 50-story steel structure was topped-out in March 1971. Facade works begun in the summer of 1971 and in the summer of 1972 the exterior was complete. The building were completed and dedicated in early 1973.

    Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building in july 1966. The 9-story Stern Brothers Department Store (1913), on foreground (left), above the Bryant Park, occupied the site of the future Grace Building.


    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking north from the Empire State Building with the old Stern Brothers department store building on foreground on its last moments, in November 1968. In summer 1969, the building was demolished.



    Night view of Midtown Manhattan skyline looking south from RCA Building. The building under construction that rises below the Empire State Building is the new Grace Building. December 1970.




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building. January 1, 1971. The building under construction above Bryant Park (center) is the W.R. Grace Building.



    The Grace Building rises up behind the New York Public Library. March 1971.



    The Grace (foreground) and the Solow (background) buildings under construction, in April 1971. View from the Empire State Building looking north.



    The Grace Building nearby completion (foreground) and the Solow Building under construction (background) from the Empire State Building in early 1972. Photo: Eric Hardy. Flickr. com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/erichar...n/photostream/



    Stern continues:

    As designed by Gordon Bunsheft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the shape of the Grace Building closely resembled that of the firm's previously designed 9 West Fifty-seventh Street (Solow Building). But whereas 9 West could be defended as providing a desirable break in Fifty-seventh Street's relentless street wall, the Grace Building broke the wall where closure was most needed, opposite the formal parterre of Bryant Park. As Norval White and Elliot Willensky put it: 'An insult to the street, its swooping from nominally bows to zoning requirements for setbacks but was, in fact, an opportunity for some flashy architectural ego.' A similar assessment of the building's urbanism was expressed by Paul Goldberger, who said that, to the observer, both Grace and 9 West 'destroy the pleasurable effect of a wall of buildings, similarly scaled, aligned evenly along a dignified street. To the passerby, they replace the traditional pedestrian experience of small-scale shop windows with massive columns, which come down at an angle onto the sidewalk to support the curved facade.' According to Bunshaft, the curving walls allowed more floor space in the lower nineteen floors without having to interrupt the vertical sweep of the design by introcucing a setback -the very device that would have helped relate the building to its immediate context. Although the details of the Grace Building, including horizontal bands of windows on four sides, were a bit cruder than those of its uptown cousin, the new building nonetheless exhibited enough of the characteristic SOM finesse to pass as a distinguished if miscast effort. As at 9 West Fifty-seventh Street, travertine covered all surfaces that were not glass; but the facades of the Grace Building were structurally articulate, with a clear expression of stories and bays that made it seem more human in scale" (Stern. 1997. Pages 464-465).

    According with Eric Nash (1999):

    "The Grace Building's tapering facade, organized into seven rectangular, bronzed-glass window bays divided by travertine-covered piers, is always good for a double-take the first time someone sees it, but eventually passerby start to ignore it altogether -there is simply not enough going on here, beyond the fact that the illusion of concavity produced by towering vertical elements is exaggerated. Clasical architects employed entasis, a rounded swelling in the center of their columns, to counteract this illusion which is caused by the curvature of the human eyeball. The facade also makes use of the 'phantom square' optical illusion, in which grayish squares seem to appear at the intersection of the white lines. The interior blinds are set in special tracks so that they do not hang vertically and spoil the sweeping effect" (Nash, Eric. Manhattan Skyscrapers. New York. Princeton Architectural Press. Page 131).

    The 50-story W.R. Grace Building (Gordon Bunshaft 1969-1973). Photo: Blue Spider. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bluespi...n/photostream/



    Building elevation, showing its curving walls. 2008. Photo: Zh-or'que. Flickr. com. Link:http://www.flickr.com/photos/markvan...n/photostream/



    The new Grace Building as seen from RCA Building, in May 1973. View of Midtown Manhattan looking south showing the 500 Fifth Avenue Building (left), the Empire State Building (center, at background) and the Grace Building (right).



    Night view of the new Grace tower parcially illuminated from RCA Building with the Empire State Building. May 1973.



    The new Grace Building (center, above Bryant Park) as seen from the Empire State Building. View of Midtown looking north. October 1973.



    The Grace Building (right) from the Empire State Building. 1975.



    In relation of its plaza, Stern (1997) says:

    "Executives of W. R. Grace & Co. professed satisfaction with thw building, but from the first they were forced to admit that the plaza was a failure. It was a chillingly bare, football-field-sized expanse of travertine, punctuated with a planter and a bench, both also sheathed in travertine. Because it faced north, the plaza was shaded through many hours of the day; and because it was cut off from the building, which had no doors on to it, it quickly became a haven for layabouts. 'Next to Grace Plaza,' Goldberger wrote, 'the mediocre plazas in the new buildings a few blocks up the Avenue of the Americas, which at least try to serve human needs, seem almost uplifiting.' The plaza was so seriously flawed that simultaneous with the celebration of the building's completion, Grace announced a $10,000 student competition to develop a more appropiate design. Elevations and sketches were submitted by 187 students across the country. The first prize was awarded to Janis Eric Reiters, a student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, who called for a structural space-frame spanning the plaza to serves as a high-tech pergola. This was not bexecuted" (Stern. 1997. Page 465). The plaza was finally renewed until the 1990s.

    The Solow Building, the monolithic sculpture.

    The 52-story white-travertine and gray-tinted glass, Solow Building, at 9 West 57th Street, was the first of the two "bell-bottoms" Bunshaft supertowers that was designed, but it was the last tower to be completed. The Solow was a result of the modifications caused by 1961 Zoning regulations that permit the construction of office towers in the West 57th Street residential district (Plaza District). The new office buildings begun to rises since 1968, when construction works begun for the 888 Seventh Avenue Building, and continues with the new 36-story Squibb Building that was built between 1971-1973.

    The adventure of the Solow Building was begun since 1962, when the Mormon temple was proyected a 38-story office building for was schedule for build in the site of the future Solow Building, but the project was not executed. Neverless, the land, in these time was occupied by several old 19th Century old residential buildings, was increasse its value and the speculative activity, that was stimulated by the modification of land use, according with the new 1961 Zoning requirements, on 57th Street, considering, during the mid 1960s, the posibility of building a great office building in the site.

    Finally, in 1968, Gordon Bunshaft, the master architect of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, announce the plan for build a new 50-story supertower on the site of 9 West 57th Street: the Solow Building was conceived.

    According with Robert A.M. Stern (1997):

    "Begun on 1968, but not completed until 1974, 9 West Fifty-seventh Street occupied a 62,000-square-foot site that ran through to Fifty-eighth Street, incorporating the unused air rights over the Paris Theater and replacing among others the six-story loft building at 26 West Fifty-eighth Street that housed Paul Rudolph's spectacular architectural office. Designed by Gordon Bunshaft, 9 West was the most provocative shaped skyscraper New York had ever seen (after the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center). The swooping, taperd slab had north- and south-facing walls sheathed in gray-tinted glass and sloping inward from a wide base to a more slender top, and end walls sheated in travertine, relieve by a broad vertical window band crissscrossed by exposed diagonal structural bracing. The structure itself was lifted on columns to form a false arcade behind which shops would be located. Two additional shopping levels were to be located below grade and connected to street level by escalators. The building was set back thirty-six feet from West Fifty-seventh Street on a travertine plaza and forty nine behind a parklet along West Fifty-eighth Street, dramatically breaking with the street-defining building wall. Because it rose so high above its neighbors and broke free of the city's traditional urbanism, it was seen by many observers as an act of unbridled architectural arrogance" (Stern. 1997. Page 503. The spells under parenthesis and in cursives, are mine).

    Stern (1997) continues:

    "Popularly described as a glass ski jump, 9 West was also referred to as one of the 'bell-bottoms,' together with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill's Grace Building. Bunshaft argued that his design was the result of a direct reading of the zoning code: it filled the xoning envelope yet avoided the conventional ziggurat massing of most buildings by smooting out the setbacks into a continous curve that followed the angle of the sky exposure plane. But as the editors of Progressive Architecture argued shortly after the design was released, Bunshaft's solution was 'facile,' a demostration of a 'block-buster approach to architecture.' Using zoning as his justification, Bunshaft was in fact following a pattern that had its origins in the work of Corbusier-inspired Modernists of the 1930s and, more recently, in C.F. Murphy's First National Bank Building in Chicago, which was nearing completion as work on 9 West began" (Stern. 1997. Fragment).


    The 60-story First National Bank. Chicago (C.F. Murphy, 1966-1969). The skyscraper that influenced Bunshaft to design the New York's Grace and Solow Buildings. Photo: Roy Carrington . Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcarrin...n/photostream/





    The Solow Building under construction, behind the Plaza Hotel. View from Central Park's The Bond lake. April 1971.



    In these areal view of Midtown Manhattan from Central Park, that was taking, in October of 1972, the Solow Building was the building near completion that appear behind the Plaza Hotel. Photo: TIME & LIFE.



    Demolition works begun on the site in late 1968 and by the spring of 1969, the site was cleared. Excavation and foundation works begun in late 1969 and continues during the first months of 1970. The building begun to rises in the summer of 1970 and the 52-story steel skeleton of the building was topped-out in the summer of 1971. In late 1971 works for the building's facade was begun and the building was complete in the summer of 1973. But it was open until early 1974.


    The 52-story Solow Building (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. 1969-1974). Night view. July 1974.




    The new and empty Solow Building (center) as seen from RCA Building in May 1973. View looking north showing the General Motors Building (right).




    Building elevation. Photo: -aenima-. Flickr.com. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/-aenima...n/photostream/




    When the building was open, in 1974, public reaction was varied: according with Stern (1997):

    "Wallace K Harrison felt that 'the sloping wall comes very naturally -it gives a smooth line that appears to give added height by dissapearing perspective.' Henry Cobb, the partner in I. M. Pei's firm who specialized in the design of tall office buildings, and who had experimented with a slope-walled approach in his design for the New York Stock Exchange, which served as another influence on Bunshaft, contended that 'tapered buildings have a very strong, hostile and aggressive visual impact in the psychological sense and architects should consider the feelings of the amn in the street'. Jaquelin Robertson was a particularly outspoken critic of the bell-botton approach: 'The rather odd-knife-shape of the slope leaves horrible scars on the face of the party walls of the adjoing building'" (Stern. 1997. Page 504). Ada Louis Huxtable says that the building as "a hardbinger of a negative btrend at the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill" (Stern. 1997. Fragment), considering that "'the basic fact is that the firm's practitioners are singlemindedly intent on the building as a monument, or a splendid piece of a technology, with near-total blindness to its enviromental side effects, which are often disastrous'" (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    Stern (1997) continues:

    "In 1974, (...) when Sheldon Solow, developter of the 9 West (and who gives the name of the Solow Building), was informed by the Fifth Avenue Asssociation that his building had 'urban bad manners', he replied that it 'may have bad manners but it has good foresight,' explaining: ' In twenty years that whole block will be developed at this scale and I think my buiilding will set the standard'" (Stern. 1997. Fragment. The spechs on cursives are mine).

    But, in fact, the Solow Building has a great real estate sucess: the cosmetic firm Avon Products, Inc. "agreeing to leasse 500,000 of its 1.5 million square feet of office space before construction begun" (Stern. 1997. Fragment) , and it was occupied few months before the official opening of the building, in 1973. Perhaps, the building was turn to be an Pop icon, when in 1974, the graphic designer Ivan Chermayeff created a big sculpture of red-orange nine "9", that turn to be a reference of the building.

    The red-orange "9" marked the entrance of the 9 West 57th Street Building. Photo: ho-hokus. Flickr.com. Link





    Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building in September 1974 showing the Grace (left at foreground) and the Solow (center, at background, behind the RCA and International buildings) buildings.







    Next week, a 1974 special about the last building of the Rockefeller Center: The Celanesse Buiding.


    your opinion are very important!!!
    if you have a opinion about my thread or you want to put a picture of new york city's skyscraper history, please, show here!!!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; October 27th, 2010 at 03:15 AM.

  8. #203

    Default History New York 20th century

    Erick, Thank you, I'll have more, please. Yes yes, keep them coming. I remember seeing pictures of the Philippe Petit incident on tv, & vaguely remembering my mother asking "What the hell is wrong with him?" I don't remember my response. Probably something like "Well, it looks like fun", but I digress. Fantastic collection of pics. Especially the faraway shots of the whole island, night shots, incomplete skyscrapers (they didn't seem as intimidating). I wonder if the old man looking thru the fence at the WTC construction was one of the old Radio Row guys? Even with his back mostly to the camera, he seems to be saying "I wasn't made for these times". The pic of the couple in Central Park; People still dressed up even if they were going to a ballgame. ANd I'll take The Plaza over any of the modern hotels any day. Keep em coming!

  9. #204

    Default

    high quality color photos from new york 1971 the life on the streets of new york

    regards

  10. #205

    Default Manhattan 1970s

    1974 special




    the rockefeller center

    chapper 2

    last part.


    the celanese building (the "z" building)




    the last addition


    Hi friends!!! Welcome back on this tread about the hsitory of New York skyscrapers during the 20th Century. In the last months, my participation on Wired New York Forum have more less frecuently, and several times, very difficult because I have attended my personal affairs related to my job, in Mexico City.

    But. I'm back again and I show the last part of a serie that I begun in mid 2009 that I was dedicated to Rockefeller Center. That series that begun with a 1931 special (see page 5 or 6). Now the last special about Rockefeller Center was dedicated of the last addition of the complex: the Celanese Building that was complete in early 1974 and was the last building that build by Harrison & Abramovitz for the Rockefeller Center's X,Y,Z Plan (1967-1974), that included the Exxon (1967-1971) and McGraw-Hill (1968-1972) Buildings.

    Rockefeller Center Inc, was "Z" Building's site tenements: a battle for the land.

    The Celanese Building, also know as "Z" Buidling or 1211 Avenue of the Americas Building opccupied a middle block between Sixth and Seventh Avenues and West 47th to 48th Streets, is, according with architect and historian Robert A.M. Stern (1997) "a 1.6 million-square-foot, forty-five-story building, designed by Harrison, Abramovitz & Harris, featured a projectin pavilion that closed its plaza along Forty-seventh Street and thereby marked the southern conclusion of the expansive, plaza-oriented urbanism of Rockefeller Center's westward expansion. Construction of the Celanese Building, which had been expected to get under way in 1967, was delayed by the refusal of several tenants to leave their apartments. William A. Reuben, a author who lived at 132 West Forty-eight Street, claimed that he could not move until he finished the book he was working on -a study of Alger Hiss. Although he reveled in his 'chance to hold up, even for a few minutes, a giant proposition' like the Celanese Building, Reuben finally agreed to move after he was paid $22,375. The building was also delayed by Charles Dun Leavey, a doctoral candidate at New York University who occupied a two-room apartment at 117 West Forty-seventh Street. At first Dun Leavey said simply that he wanted to stay on the same piece of land where he was living, and that he would like an apartment in the new building. Later, in keeping with the spirit of late 1960s social activism, Dun Leavey said that he had no intention of vacating because he was 'setting a good, pugnacious, stubborn example of social effectiveness, social usefulness for the neddy, ignorant, insecure, helpness tenants throughout the city of New York.' Rockefeller Center, Inc. ultimately prevailed before the city's Rent Control Commission, however, and Dun Leavey was forced to Move" (Stern, Robert A.M., Mellins, Thomas., Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and Urbanism Between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Page 414).


    Construction

    Finally, in September 1970, demolition and excavation works for the Celanese Building was begun. The steel frame of the building begun to rises on late 1971.

    In this night picture, was took from the Empire State Building's Observation roof, in October 1972, the steel skeleton of the Celanese Building begun to rises over surrounding Sixth Avenue's new buildings.



    The Celanese Building under construction (extreme left). View looking west of the X,Y and Z Buildings from RCA Building. May 1973.




    The building

    The Celanese Building, follow the same lines of the Exxon and McGraw-Hill Buildings, but if the Exxon and McGraw-Hill showing a diferent tones of brown limestone in their facades, the Celanese show a white-gray limestone and dark-gray glass bands facade.

    Talking about the all 1970s Rockefeller Center Extension, the shorter space that separated the windows of the limestone columns of the facade of the X,Y and Z towers probably were inspired in the lines of the World Trade Center towers, the work of Harrison, Abramovitz & Harris for the Rockefeller Center as monumental and monstrous.

    Returning in the topic of the Celanese Building, the architecture's website "NEW YORK SCRAPERS" says about the building that "the 45-storey exterior of the 180.5 m tall building follows the extension's uniform vertical striping, with the limestone piers here nearly flush with the glass surface. The elevated plaza facing Sixth Avenue is flanked on the south side by a lower wing protruding from the main building mass, closing the plaza row of the Extension" (The Celanese Building. From New York Scrapers. website. 2010. Link: http://www.in-arch.net/NYC/nyc3b.html#69. Reviewed in December 7, 2010).

    Aerial view of the new Rockefeller Center's X,Y and Z Buildings. The new 45 story Celanese (Z) Building can see in the center. June 1974. Photo: Skyviews Aerial Surveys.




    Celanese Building elevation. Photo: S E A N D U. Flickr. Link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/2766682...n/photostream/





    The Plaza and the Ventury effect.

    About the Celanese Building's plaza, that follow the line of their tallest sisters, the website Emporis.com, says that:

    "The elevated plaza facing Sixth Avenue is flanked on the south side by a lower wing protruding from the main building mass, closing the plaza row of the Extension" (Celanese Building. New York City. U.S.A. From Emporis.com. Website. 2000 - 2010 Emporis Corporation. Link: http://www.emporis.com/application/?...ng=3&id=114547. Reviewed in December 7, 2010).

    In New York, the canyon effect of the buildings plus the open space of the plaza creating a violent wind effect in the pedestrians who stay and walk around the X,Y and Z Buidlings, included the Celanesse. The same effect was conteplated in several new office buildings as General Motors, World Trade Center towers, the Grace, the Seagram, the CBS, and others. In a 1978 article in the New York Magazine, about the Celanese, McGraw-Hill and Exxon buildings' windy effect:

    "Pedestrians passageways through buildings, such as the one through the Celanese Building on Sixth Avenue between 47th to 48th streets, or through miniature plazas or the arcades behind the McGraw-Hill and Exxon Buildings, on Sixth Avenue between 48th and 50th streets, are subject to the Venturi effect as well. Occasionally, these spaces, intended for strolling and relaxing achieve the environmental qualities of a wind tunnel. It's a designer-in flaw which one can see in newer buildings all over Manhattan: the stately outdoor spaces which people never seem to use for anything and where no plants grow" (Prior Karen. The Wicked Winds of New York. In New York Magazine. April 24 1978. Page 38. Available by Google Books. Link: http://books.google.com.mx/books?id=...20york&f=false. Reviewed in December 7, 2010).


    The three completed X, Y and Z Building. The Celanese Buildings is the first of the group of three buildings at the right of the J.P. Stevens Building. View from 50th Street. July 1974. Photo: Ezra Stoller.




    The new stars of the Rockefeller Center. 1975.




    Aerial view of the Rockefeller Center looking west showing the completed new Center's Sixth Avenue extension (background). From left to right: Celanese, McGraw-Hill and Exxon buildings. The building of the extreme right is the Time & Life Building. July 1974. Photo: Thomas Airviews.




    Next, a general review of the city in 1974.

    your opinion are very important!!!
    if you have a opinion about my thread or you want to put a picture of new york city's skyscraper history, please, show here!!!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 7th, 2010 at 06:31 PM.

  11. #206

    Red face Manhattan 1970s

    1974

    Hi friends: Welcome back to this trip on the evolution of New York skyscrapers during 20th. Century. Now, continuing our travel on the 1970s, now I show a general panorama of the city skyline during 1974, the year that Nixon fell.

    The Watergate scandal enter in its climax during 1974, in which, the existence of as much recorded evidence that incriminated directly to Richard Nixon, and which, had been exposed by the American press, it caused that the Senate considered to accuse to president, who it was abandonment of its old collaborators, and when the political pressure was against him, made tha Nixon did not have another option that to resign to the presidency, leaving in its place to until then vice-president Gerard Ford, who shortly after, forgived to Nixon.

    The 1973 oil crisis took deep in 1974, whe the prices of gasoline and other oil derivates as plastic, and other chemicals increassed, caused the begining education movement for the energy save.

    While many people dances the disco music and learn about the energy save, in New York the situation wasn't better. 1974 was signed as the menace to the city's total collapse. Delincuency and air and water pollution was increassed, whith the deterioration of the city's infrastructure and political corruption, causes that the city is close to be collapses.

    But aftell all, the inocence was back in a few moment when in August 7, 1974 the French stuntman Phillipe Petit was walk in the tighrope 1450 feet over the street, in the open space between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. The stuntman won the inmortality with this inocent act.

    Philippe Petit. August 7, 1974. Photo: Mr. Memphis1982 Flickr.com




    In construction activity, the fiscal crisis and the high costs of construction material, causes the almost total paralysis of the construction activity in New York. The most affected sector was the office building marked. In 1974 few less office towers were completed and dedicated, and the most famous buildings that be open during 1974 was the 52-story Solow Building (9 West 57th Street), the 45-story Celanese Building, and the 45-story Bankers Trust Building (Deustche Bank Building), south of the Twin Towers, in Financial District.

    Other buildings that was completed during 1974 was:

    48-story 1166 Avenue of the Americas Building (the building was empty until 1978).

    Another office buildings under construction during 1974 was:

    55-story Olympic Tower.
    42-story 3 Park Avenue Building (The steel structure begun to rises on early 1974).
    44-story One United Nations Plaza.
    40-story New York Telephone office building, next to Brooklyn Bridge.
    59-story Citicorp Tower (demolition of existing building and excavation).

    Now, a general panorama of the city's skyline on 1974.

    The Twin Towers of World Trade Center and other Financial District skyscrapers. Sunset view from Brooklyn. January 1974.




    Lower Manhattan looking west from Brooklyn. Februrary 1974. The World Trade Center's Twin Towers, nearly completion can see on background.




    Park Avenue's skyscrapers looking south from the interior of a office in Lever House's 22nd floor. March 1974.




    Aerial view of the new Waterside housing project buildings. April 1974. The Empire State Building can see on the background.




    Art Deco skyscrapers. The building on foreground is the Town House Building (1930). The Chrysler and Chanin buildings can see on the backgound. April 1974.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking southwest from East River, showing the new Roosevelt Island Housing Development, under construction. May 1974.




    Fish's eye view of Midtown Manhattan looking south from Rockefeller Center's RCA Building. May 1974.




    The new Midtown Manhattan's skyline looking southwest from Queens, showing the Queensboro Bridge on foreground. May 1974.




    Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building. May 1974.




    Midtown Manhattan looking west from East River, showing the United Nations buildings. The steel structure that begun to rises behind the UN's General Assembly Buidling is the future One United Nations Plaza. May 1974.




    The 52-story Solow Building (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. 1969-1974). Night view. May 1974.




    Aerial view of Madison Square Park district's skyscrapers looking west. Buildings from left to right: Flatiron Building (1902), Metropolitan Life Tower (1909), Metropolitan Life North Building (1933-1950), the new 44-story Madison Park Plaza Building (1973) and the New York Life Building (1928). June 1974.




    Aerial view of the new Rockefeller Center's X,Y and Z Buildings. The new 45 story Celanese (Z) Building can see in the center. June 1974. Photo: Skyviews Aerial Surveys.




    New Battery Park district skyscrapers. June 1974.




    Madison Avenue skyscrapers looking south from 30th Street. June 1974.




    The Empire State Building as seen from 34th Street. June 1974.




    The Four and Two New York Plaza building as seen from Broad Street. The history Pre-revolutionary Frances Tavern can see in the center of the picture. June 1974. Photo: Robert Gambee.




    Aerial view of Sixth Avenue buildings. July 1974. Photo: Thomas Airviews.




    Aerial view of the Rockefeller Center looking west showing the completed new Center's Sixth Avenue extension (background). From left to right: Celanese, McGraw-Hill and Exxon buildings. The building of the extreme right is the Time & Life Building. July 1974. Photo: Thomas Airviews.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking northwest above 34th Street. July 1974.




    Sixth Avenue buildings from Rockefeller Center's Exxon Building's plaza. The building of the center is the Rockefeller Center's former RKO Building (in 1974 the buildings was know as American Metal Climax Building), with the Radio City Music Hall. July 1974.




    The recently completed Twin Towers of World Trade Center as seen from Hudson River. July 1974.




    Impressive view of the new towers. July 1974.




    Midtown Manhattan looking southeast from Hudson River. July 1974. Photo Robert Gambee.




    The Rockefeller Center's U.S. Rubber Building, as seen from new McGraw-Hill Building. July 1974.




    Impressive view of the completed World Trade Center's Twin Towers. July 1974. Photo: Hideaki Sato





    Lower Manhattan's Financial District skyline looking southwest from Brooklyn Bridge. August 1974.




    Lower Manhattan looking east from Hudson River. August 1974. Photo: Robert Gambee.




    Love in New York. View of Midtown Manhattan looking east from New Jersey during a bride ceremony. August 1974. Photo: Robert Gambee.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State Building. August 1974. The building that rises above the Daily News Building (right) is the steel skeleton of the One United Nations Plaza.




    Lower Manhattan's Financial District skyscrapers looking west from Brooklyn Bridge. The skyline was dominated by the new 110-story World Trade Center's Twin Towers, that it be recently completed. August 1974.




    Lower Manhattan looking south from Empire State Building. September 1974.




    Midtown Manhattan looking north from Empire State Building's 102 floor Observatory Deck. The skyscraper under constriction that be seen at right of Fifth Avenue and above St. Patrick's Cathedral is the skeleton of the 55-story Olympic Tower.




    Midtown Manhattan looking Northeast from Empire State Building. September 1974. The building under construction above the Daily News (at right), is the One United Nations Plaza.




    Midtown Manhattan looking west from Empire State Building. September 1974. The black building on foreground is the new 57-story One Penn Plaza.




    The Empire State Building as seen from Lexington Avenue and 34th Street. September 1974. On the extreme left can see construction activity on the site of the new 40-story 3 Park Avenue Building.




    Aerial view of New York's skyline that dominated by the Twin Towers with the Statue of Liberty on foreground. September 1974.




    Fifth Avenue looking north from 45th Street. November 1974. The tower under construction on the center of the picture is the 55-story Olympic Tower.




    Aerial view of Lincoln Center's district and part of Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Hudson River. December 1974.




    View of Fifth Avenue looking north from 42nd Street. December 1974. The new 55-story Olympic Tower under construction can see on background.




    Financial District's Lower Broadway buildings looking southwest from Park Row. Buildings from left to right: 54-story One Liberty Plaza (1973), the 24-story old AT&T Building (1914-1924), 43-story Transportation Building (1928) and the old 60-story Woolworth Building's entrance (1913). December 1974.




    Antique and modern skyscrapers on Battery Park. December 1974. The buildings that show in the picture was build between 1884 and 1962.




    Next week, a general panorama of 1975. The year that the city was closed of the total collapse.

    your opinion are very important!!!
    if you have a opinion about my thread or you want to put a picture of new york city's skyscraper history, please, show here!!!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 20th, 2010 at 02:50 AM.

  12. #207
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    Hi erickchristian. Thank you for this tremendously informative thread and your continued attention to it. I do not seem able to view the panorama.

  13. #208

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MidtownGuy View Post
    Hi erickchristian. Thank you for this tremendously informative thread and your continued attention to it. I do not seem able to view the panorama.
    Thank you for you comentary. When I talk of a general panorama of that year. I really talk about the general panorama of the evolution of New York skyline, but I have to link it with the political, economical, social and, sometimes, artistic, for example, linking the evolution of the New York skyscrapers in 1973-74 with the critical fiscal crisis that stroked the city, while the Twin Towers were dedicated and completed, and linking it with many important events, like the Watergate scandal. Another example, was in the page 5, when I made a general panorama of 1930 and 1931, where I talk about the Great Deppresion because the Empire State and Chrysler Building was build in the most deep years of the stock market crash.

    Perhaps, because I'm Mexican, sometimes, I added few important Latin American events. I was made it because Im journalist student in Mexico City, and I uses it for practice. But I'm honest, I write only that I know of these historic events.
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 10th, 2010 at 12:31 AM.

  14. #209

    Default Manhattan 1970s

    1975

    Hi friends, welcome on this travel through the history of New York skyscrapers during the 20th Century. Now, in our trip on the 1970s, I show a general panorama of the evolution of city skyline during 1975. As is a tradition, first I talk about the worldwide important events that contextualize the live in New York during 1975.

    1975 is the year that officially the Vietnam War end. Between March and April, the last U.S troops and diplomatic corps announces the exit of Saigon, meaning the sucess of communist Vietnamese troops, who occupied the city and declared the Martial Law. Accoding with Wikipedia:

    "Chaos, unrest, and panic broke out as hysterical South Vietnamese officials and civilians scrambled to leave Saigon. Martial law was declared. American helicopters began evacuating South Vietnamese, U.S., and foreign nationals from various parts of the city and from the U.S. embassy compound. Operation Frequent Wind had been delayed until the last possible moment, because of U.S. Ambassador Graham Martin's belief that Saigon could be held and that a political settlement could be reached. Schlesinger announced early in the morning of 29 April 1975 the evacuation from Saigon by helicopter of the last U.S. diplomatic, military, and civilian personnel. Frequent Wind was arguably the largest helicopter evacuation in history. It began on 29 April, in an atmosphere of desperation, as hysterical crowds of Vietnamese vied for limited space. Martin pleaded with Washington to dispatch $700 million in emergency aid to bolster the regime and help it mobilize fresh military reserves. But American public opinion had soured on this conflict. In the United States, South Vietnam was perceived as doomed. President Gerald Ford had given a televised speech on 23 April, declaring an end to the Vietnam War and all U.S. aid. Frequent Wind continued around the clock, as North Vietnamese tanks breached defenses on the outskirts of Saigon. In the early morning hours of 30 April, the last US Marines evacuated the embassy by helicopter, as civilians swamped the perimeter and poured into the grounds. Many of them had been employed by the Americans and were left to their fate. On 30 April 1975, VPA troops overcame all resistance, quickly capturing key buildings and installations. A tank crashed through the gates of the Independence Palace, and at 11:30 a.m. local time the NLF flag was raised above it. President Duong Van Minh, who had succeeded Huong two days earlier, surrendered" (Fall of Saigon: From the article Vietnam War. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_war. Reviewed in December 14, 2010).

    1975 was the Women's International Year when in many countries. Many nations dignataries, with the support of the United Nations according save the women rights in all the world.


    Ford to NYC: Drop Dead

    In New York 1975 was the year that almost reach the total collapse. The city's fiscal crisis that begun on late 1960s took the most critical point in 1975 that "the city government avoided bankruptcy only through a federal loan and debt restructuring by the Municipal Assistance Corporation, headed by Felix Rohatyn. The city was also forced to accept increased financial scrutiny by an agency of New York State" (From Wikipedia. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History...6.E2.80.931977. Review on December 14, 2010).

    According with a article that appear on New York Magazine, in June 2, 1975, Chris Welles says that "the federal government and the government of New York State were concerned with beating New York City, which they felt had brought on the crisis. As they saw it, the city had been following a fiscally ruinous course for years by spending much more money than it was able to generate. Few had questioned philosophically the goodness of what the city was spending its money for. Who could argue against health care, education, and police and fire protection? The problem was that the city had been trying to do too much for too many with too little. During the last decade, the city's expense budget—$11.8 billion during the 1974-75 fiscal year—had grown at an annual rate of 12 per cent, while tax revenues had increased only 4 to 5 per cent" (Reference: Welles Chris: The Domino Scenario: The Day New York City Defaulted. In New York Magazine. June 2, 1975. Extracted from web site of the New York Magazine. Link: http://nymag.com/news/features/48290/. Reviewed on December 14, 2010).

    In the web site About.com, in 1975, New York City "had to borrow two-thirds of its operating budget, $8 billion. President Gerald Ford rejected an appeal for help. The intermediate savior was the city's Teachers' Union, which invested $150 million of its pension funds, plus a refinance of $3 billion in debt. In December 1975, after city leaders begin addressing the crisis, Ford signed the New York City Seasonal Financing Act, extending the City a line of credit of up to $2.3 billion [approximately $12.82B in 2008 dollars]. The U.S. Treasury earned about $40 million in interest. Later, President Jimmy Carter would sign the New York City Loan Guarantee Act of 1978; again, U.S. Treasury earned interest" .

    The consecuences of the crisis was the increasing of social crisis that meanin on the advance of crime. In the 1970s, New York City was considered one of the most dangerous cities on the world. The medical and social programs that severly affected and the city's social pollarization was experimented a climax in during the vandalism activities that follow after the blackout of July 13, 1977.


    Ford to City: Drop Dead. The famous NY's Daily News cover. February 1975.




    In architecture, in 1975 the fiscal crisis continuing affecting the office construction activity on the city and any important office building was opened during the year in the city.

    Construction activities continued on the next office buildings:

    • 55-story Olympic Tower (the building was complete until autum 1975, but it was open until spring 1976).
    • 40-story One United Nations Plaza (the building was complete in late 1975, but the building was finally open until mid 1976).
    • 42-story 3 Park Avenue Building (the building was completed on late 1975)
    • 40-story New York Telephone Building (next to Manhattan's entrance to Brooklyn Bridge. The building was complete on late 1975, but it was opened in 1976).
    • 59-story Citicorp Tower (excavation. The steel structure begun to rises on Summer 1975).
    The only great skyscraper event of 1975 was not a office building: the dedication of the new 47-story Galleria Apartment Tower, also know as "The Galleria", that show in its facade one of the first examples of early postmodern architecture in New York.



    Next, a general panorama of City's skyline on 1975.


    The Olimpic Tower under construction as seen from Park Avenue and 51st Street. January 1975.




    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan looking south. February 1975 (the picture appears cut in the middle because it was impossible to open the book that I was scanned more). Photo: Skyviews Aerial Surveys. Compare with the 1967 picture of the same zone that appears on Page 12 of this tread.




    Upper Broadway and 70th Street. February 1975.




    The 44-story steel skeleton of posmodernist One United Nations Plaza, on a announce that appear on Architectural Record Magazine in March 1975.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northwest from Empire State Building showing the new Times Square and Sixth Avenue's office buildings. March 1975. In Times Square (left, at background), buildings to left to right: 41-story Continental Building (1930), and 30-story old Paramount Building (1926). Above it the 54-story One Astor Plaza (1972), and the bolow it, at right the new 33-story 1500 Broadway Building (1973). Above it, at right, the new 55-story Uris Plaza (1972-73) an right, at background the new 42-story One Lincoln Plaza (1972), the new 45-story Gulf + Western Building (1970), and the 810 Sevent Avenue (1970) and behind it, at right, the 50-story 888 Seventh Avenue Building (1972). In Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas, center on foreground), buildings from left to right: 40-story Union Dime Savings Bank Building (1958), the new 40-story (the building is taller than a ordinary 55-story office building) New York Telephone Building (1973), at extreme right, the white travertine and dark-tinted gray glass curtain-wall Grace Building (1972-73), on left, the 45-story 1133 Avenue of the Americas Building (1969) and on its right, the 18-story Hippodrome Office and Garage Building (1952 with additions from 1957 and 1962), behind the 1133 appears the 45-story J.P. Stevens Building (1971) and in ots right the new and empty black class curtain-wall 48-story 1166 Avenue of the Americas Building (1974). Behind of Stevens Buidlings appears the Rockefeller Center's new 45-story Celanese (1974), 51-story McGraw-Hill (1972) and 54-story Exxon (1971) buildings and behind it, the 48-story Time & Life Buildling (1959), the 42-story Equitable Life Assurance Building (1961), the 48-story J.C. Penney Building (1965), part of the New York Hilton (1963) and the black box of the 52-story Burlington House Building (1969). At background, on the extreme right can see the Art Deco structure of 32-story Barbizon Plaza Hotel (1930), and the Rockefeller Center's modern 45-story Sperry Rand Building (1963) and old RKO Building (1932).




    Lower Manhattan's Financial District skyscrapers and Brooklyn Bridge. May 1975.




    Lower Manhattan's new Skyline that dominated by Twin Towers and Statue of Liberty. May 1975.




    Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Hudson River. May 1975. Photo: Robert Gambee.




    The new 110-story Twin Towers of World Trade Center and St. Paul's Chapel. View from Park Row. May 1975. Photo: Robert Gambee.




    The old 1911 St. Thomas Church that surrounded by modern skyscrapers. June 1975.



    The Rockefeller Center. June 1975.




    The 110-story Twin Towers of World Trade Center. View of Lower Manhattan looking east from Hudson River. June 1975. Photo: Joseph Molitor.




    The Financial District skyscrapers from Battery Park. June 1975.




    The new Financial District skyline that was dominated by the Twin Towers of World Trade Center as seen from Governors Island. July 1975.




    Aerial view of Twin Towers of World Trade Center. View looking northeast showing Midtown Manhattan at background. Behind the towers appears the old 36-story Barclay Vesey Building (1926), and behing it the new 35-story new Independence Plaza housing project buildings. July 1975.




    The Empire State Building as seen from the intersection of Eight Avenue and 33rd Street. The glass building that appears on foregrond (left of Empire State) is part of the One Penn Plaza. July 1975.




    The yuxtaposition of old and new architecture in New York: the old 45-story Ritz Tower (1925) and the new postmodern 47-story The Galleria Apartment Tower 1975.




    Aerial view of Manhattan Island looking north. August 1975. Photo: Skyviews Aerial Surveys.




    The Columbus Circle. August 1975. 70's buildings, 70's cars, and city's urban infraestructure in decline.




    Afternoon view of Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State Building. October 1975. Photo 1 of 2. The black building that appears on baclground, over Fifth Avenue is the recently completed Olympic Tower. The Building was opened until 1976.




    Photo 2 of 2. The green building that appears behind the Daily News and Continental Can Buildings (right, on background) is the recently completed One United Nations Plaza Building. The building was opened until mid 1976. The United Nations Secretariat Building can seen on extreme right (background).




    Park Avenue looking south from 57th Street. December 1975.




    The stell skeleton of the future Citicorp Tower begun to rises. December 1975. The building of the right is the old 41-story First National City Bank Building. December 1975. In 1975 the Rockefeller's First National City Bank of New York change its name to only CITIBANK and the all Citibank corporation was also named the CITICORP.




    Next week, a 1976 special of One United Nations Plaza.

    your opinion are very important!!!
    if you have a opinion about my thread or you want to put a picture of new york city's skyscraper history, please, show here!!!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 20th, 2010 at 02:40 AM.

  15. #210

    Default Manhattan 1970s

    1975-1976 Special

    one united nations plaza


    a posmodernism revolutionary tower


    Hi friends, we're back again with this trip through the history of New York skyscrapers during the 20th Century. Now, continuing our travel during the 1970s, I show the history of the 40-story One United Nations Plaza, that it was officially considered the New York's first posmodernist skyscraper, because its sculptural shape and its facade coverd with green-mirror-glass curtain wall, was broked with the standars of traditional box-like slab towers that was built in New York since the 1950s.

    As I was told in older post, during the late 1960s and early 1970s the architecture in West World experimented a transition from the purity and monotonous lines of International Style's Modernism, to a new phase of 20th Century architecture called Postmodernist, and experiment with new shapes and lines that broked that formality. These revolution was applied in skyscraper desing and, in New York these experiment was applied since mid and late 1960s and early 1970s in buildings as the Ford Foundation Building, World Trade Center's Twin Towers, the Grace and Solow Buildings, One Astor Plaza, that it was considered the first examples of the transition from International Style Modernist to Posmodernist phase. Finally, since 1970, the postmodernism begun to rules the standars of the late 20th Century architecture. In these year, in New York, while the Twin Towers, the One Astor Plaza, and the Grace and Solow buildings were rises up, changing the skyline of Manhattan, plans for the two city's first skyscrapers that it officially called postmodern, the Citicorp and One United Nations Plaza, took shape.


    The United Nations Development Corporation.

    The 40-story green-mirrored glass curtain-wall One United Nations plaza, located in the northwest corner of First Avenue and 44th Street, and was completed in early 1976, was the most recently of the first phase of the urban renewal project on Turtle Bay zone that surroundind the United Nations Headquarters and that renovation begun when the first United Nations buildings (the Secretariat tower and Security Council Building) was completed.

    Aerial view of Midtown Manhattan, when the urban renewal works in the United Nations district (foreground) were begun. July 1953.




    For mid 1960s the Turtle Bay district surrounding the United Nations was developed in a first class residential, office and diplomat center, with the construction of consulates and many contries build their UN representation offices in the neighborhood. The prescence of the United National Headquarters in the district contribuiting of the transformation of the zone and the neighboring zones on Second and Third Avenues.

    View of United Nations district, looking north, from UN Secretariat Building. June 1965.




    With the construction of 20-story International Engeniering Center (background, at center) in 1961 and the 42-story twin towers of 860-870 United Nations Plaza (extreme right) in 1964-1965, the United Nations' district urban renewal project entering in the skyscraper phase. View of United Nations District looking north from East River, in November 1967.




    The history of One United Nations Plaza begun in summer 1968, shortly after the completion of the Ford Foundation Building, architects John Dinkeloo and Kevin Roche, who was collaborated with Eero Saarinen until his death in 1961, announced a new proposal for United Nations International School, the proposal considerate "a ring of eleven-to nineteen-story structures around the edges of the superblock, was well as twin forty-story towers on the axis of Forty-fourth Street. Each tower would be square in plan but rotated forty-five degrees off the street gird. The boundary buildings were to provide almost two million square feet of space; the towers were to yeild and additional one million square feet devoted to apartments and hotels" (Stern, Robert A.M., Mellins, Thomas., Fishman, David. New York 1960. Architecture and Urbanism Between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York. The Monacelli Press. 1997. Page 634).

    During the rest of 1968 and almost all 1969, the preliminary proposals for the future United Nations Plaza were modified, and, according with architect Robert A.M. Stern (1997), the Roche-Dinkeloo's project took a very large scale when, in November 1969, a new association, the United Nations Development Corporation (UNDC) took the development design, and it appeared to be "a massive crystaline forty-story superstructure, to be sheathed in mirror glass, a material never before used in the city, it was in effect three buildings containing three million square feet of office space. Along the First Avenue frontage, a fouth building containg a 700-room hotel was proposed. The three office buildings were to be surrounded a glass roofed, 195-foot-square, 540-foot-high atrium, also forty stories tall, that opened to the southwest through its fourth wall, the only one to be sheathed in transparent glass. At the base of the well, a 'rotunda' occupying the 'backyard' space to the east was to be devoted to visitors' activities; a health facility was to be located at its top. An enclosed bridge would lead visitors over First Avenue to the U.N. complex itself" (Stern. 1997. fragment).


    Proposal for the One and Two United Nations Plaza buildings. Kevin Roche & John Dinkeloo. 1969.





    Stern (1997) continues:

    "The project, which needed City Planning Commision approval, had problems from the start. Although Mayor Lindsay and his City Planning chairman, Donald H. Elliott, viewed it with enthusiasm, there was public resistance. Congressman Edward I. Koch was a leading opponent, questioning the project's bulk and density, originally with a floor area ratio of 12 and now pushed up to 18 FAR, the highest ever in the city. The populist columnist Pete Hamill attacked it on various grounds, ranging from the increased density it would bring to the neighborhood to its effect on air pollution to the dislocation of 700 resident families from the site. But, Hamill noted, his major objection was 'the assumption that it carries about this town; that somehow thgese free-loading diplomats assigned to the UN have some blessed right to live across the street from their job, while the rest of us have to come screaming into Manhattan on the subway cages'. A young assemblyman, Andrew Stein, urged that the development be relofcated to Welfare Island, summing up the public's resentiment neatly: 'You can read the UN chapter from end to end, and you will find nothing in that charter that guarantees to its personnel and officials the privilege of rolling out of bed directly into their offices'" (Stern. 1997. Pages 634, 636).

    He continues writting:

    "In late 1969 Ada Louise Huxtable expressed qualified enthusiasm for the design, emphasizing both the merits and the problems inherent in its scale. She called the Roche-Dinkeloo proposal an 'architectural spectacular': 'The inmense, faceted forms of its three joined office towers and connecting hotel wing would be covered with a sleek skin of reflecting glass panels, giving the city back to itself in a kind of monumental architectural dissolve. The building is a superb tour de force, a giant trick with mirrors.' But she felt that Roche's first plan, though rejected as financially injustificable, 'was mpore successful in the resolution of the tie-up between the United Nations buildings and their immediate environs, to create what could be called a 'U.N. district'. In a reassessment of the project three months after, in February 1970, Huxtable claimed tro admire the design, though she never conveyed why. She went on the describe the 'irony' of supporting the plan, which 'does just above everything we know we should no be doing in New York. Huxtable argued that 'there is a lot more to 'public purpose' in urbanistic terms that wrapping up conventional investiment economics in a smashing architecture package.' She was uncharacteristically brutal in her attack on the high cost of the proposed building design, atributing the expense to extravagance and a desire for a grand gesture" (Stern. 1997. Page 636).

    Stern (1997) continues:

    "Despite critical objections, the project was approved by a slender five to four majority of the City Planning Commission in January 1970 and by the Board of Estimate three months later. Progress was delayed, however, when the UNDC failed to obtain federal loan guarantees. Eventually the UNDC turned to the New York State Legislature, and in 1971 and agreement was hammered out, but only after considerable compromise, including a reduction of the FAR to 15 and a $75 million limit on the amount of guaranteed bonds, enough to finance only the first phase of development. Any future expansion would require another act of the State Legislature. With the new guidelines in place, the design was modified" (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    Construction of the first phase (1973-1975)

    Construction of the first phase of the Roche Dinkeloo's master plan, begun in late 1972, with the start of demolition works of existing building in the site, in the northwest corner of First Avenue and 44th Street, nesxt to the United States Mission to the United Nations Building (1961, now demolished). Excavation works was begun in summer of 1973 and continues during the rest of the year. The building's steel structure was begun to rises on early 1974 and topped out in late 1974. During 1975 construction works continues with the installation of facade and the building exterior was complete during the Fall of 1975. The 40-story mixed-use building open during the spring of 1976.

    In this picture of Midtown Manhattan looking west from East River, in May 1974, can see (center on background), behind the UN General Assembly Building the steel structure of One United Nations Plaza that begun to rises up.




    In these picture of Midtown Manhattan looking northeast from Empire State, can see the steel skeleton of One United Nations Plaza, that rises up, at backgound, right, behind the Daily News Building. August 1974.




    The steel skeleton of One United Nations Plaza, in early 1975, shortly before the installation of its facade.




    A postmodernist icon.

    Finally, the new 40-story 505-foot-tall slab One United Nations Plaza was open. 360,000 square feet of office space in its first 27 floors and a 292-roo, hotel on the top 13 floors; "guest service and a restaurant were located at street level and a coffee shop and three small meeting rooms were on the second floor. A health club with indoor swimming pool was located on the twenty-seventh floor and in indoor tennis court on the thrity-ninth. One United Nations Plaza occupied the north side of Forty-fourth Street, running one hundred feet west from First Avenue. The eccentrically massed building, thr first in New York to combine hotel and office uses, was essentially L shaped in plan, wrapping around two buildings, including the U.S. Mission to the U.N., so that at its western end it ran through the block to Forty-fifth Street" (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    According with Stern (1997):

    "In addition to two setbacks on the north side, which were sheathed with glass laid at a forty-five-degree angle to form shedlike roofs that enable the building was cut wrapped, a twelve-story tall portion of the building was cut away at its southeast corner, in deference to William Lescaze's Church Peace Center across the street, which was also twelve-stories high, and to create a greater impact from the northbound approach along First Avenue. A continuous glass canopy covering the sidewalk along Forty-fourth Street furthered the look of a natural formed crystal, an impression not unlike that suggested by Hugh Ferris in some of his drawings for the city of the future made during the 1920s. To heighten the sense that the design was a phenomenon of nature rather than a mere building, the blue-green glass curtain wall was gridded in a pattern that denied any sense of thye building's true scale. The 4'7" -by-2'7 1/2" rectangles of glass, laid horizontally, did not relate to the floors of space behind them but divided the typical vertical unit into four equally sized panels" (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    40-story One United Nations Plaza (Roche-Dinkeloo & Associaltes). July 1976. View from United Nations Secretariat Building. Photo: Ronald Livery. Architectural Record Magazine.




    The impact of the building in the UN Headquarters' environs. July 1977. View from East River withe the One United Nations Plaza on the center.




    Building elevation. Photo by: wallyg. Flickr.





    Exquisite criticism

    When it was completed, the One United Nations Plaza receive numerous good criticism, because, its innovative shape broked all the architectural standars and the monotony of International Style Modernist, in a sign to the way to the postmodernist movement was imminent. The building was called a oasis that refreshing the panorama. According with Stern (1997):

    "Virtually, all critics commented on the scalelessness and muteness caused by this facade treatened. As Paul Goldberger observed: 'The glass covers everything like a great shining blanket, and its pattern offers no hint as to the goings-on inside.' In a later assessment, Goldberg said that the skin was so beautiful that one was tempted to overlook questions of scale, 'to let this exquisite tower be the exception that proves the rule.' The building, he said, 'is a intelligent counterpoint to the U.N.'s Secretariat Building -the color relates well, the materials relate well, and the odd shape ...provides an appropiate rhythm to play against the Secretariat's even slab.' John Tauranac, although troubled by the refusal of the designers to let the curtain wall suggest or describe the spaces behind it, also had praise for the facade: 'When viewed from afar, say the FDR Drive in the twenties, One United Nations Plaza shimmers in the sun, like an oasis that is in reality a mirage. Fortunatelly, it is no mirage, and like all oasis, its coolness is refreshing'" (Stern. 1997. Fragment).

    Stern (1997) continues:

    "Perhaps, the most suprasing aspect of the Roche-Dinkeloo design was the fact that, despite the brilliant effects, achieved, the building was almost a cheap to build as a typical spec office building -which definitively refuted Huxtable's earlier criticism that the UNDC development was extravagant. Though the quality of the office space was no better than average, and the interior fittings for the various U.N. departments housed in the building were rather dreary, the lobbies and corridors exhibited a higher level of detail and finish than was ordinary the case. More spectacular by far was the hotel, for which Roche, in departure from typical practice, was put in charge of the interior design; the result was characterized by Walter McQuade as a 'hard edged hedonism.' The typical guest rooms were of average size and were furnished with stock pieces as well as some designated by the architects. Though the zolatone-painted walls and the faux fox fur bedspreads may not have been everyone's idea of glamour, Huxtable seemed to like the interior design, prasing the use of 'soft, unpatterned fabrics, in subtle, muted, nonstandard colors -taupe, grayed blue, rose beige.' She also admired the architect's decision to replace 'that universal hotel horror, the pictures on the walls,' with high-quality framed embroideries, 'from bold to delicate, chosen from every period and culture; many are of museum caliber.' More interesting were the suites, some of which were duplexes set behind the glass sheds, whith double-height living rooms and open-riser spiral staircases. The swimming pool, with its magnificeny skyline views, was tented over with white fabric, perhaps the most conventional decorative touch. A corridor to the pool, slipped between the exterior curtain and the core, was lined with mirrors to heighten the dizzying view" (Stern. 1997. Pages 636, 638).

    Another modern view of One United Nations Plaza. 2009. Photo by rpa2101. Flickr




    Night view of Midtown Manhattan looking southwest from East River showing the One United Nations Plaza (center, left to Chrysler Building) completly illuminated. 1979.




    Next, a 1976 special dedicated to the Empire State Building's illumination.


    your opinion are very important!!!
    if you have a opinion about my thread or you want to put a picture of new york city's skyscraper history, please, show here!!!!!



    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!
    Last edited by erickchristian; December 25th, 2010 at 06:30 PM.

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