Permit me also to express my gratitude for these fabulous photographs. Vintage Gotham is truly awe-inspiring. Oh for the chance to travel backward in time, if only for a moment . . . these photos have done that!
Thanks for posting all the great pictures. Excellent viewing.
Permit me also to express my gratitude for these fabulous photographs. Vintage Gotham is truly awe-inspiring. Oh for the chance to travel backward in time, if only for a moment . . . these photos have done that!
Architects: "Shreve, Lamb & Harmon" build Inc.
Last edited by Maradona-82; July 12th, 2009 at 06:33 PM.
Last edited by erickchristian; July 14th, 2009 at 04:57 PM. Reason: Correct
Hi!!! I am back continuing with this trip in the time through the evolution of New York City's skyline and skyscrapers trought 20th Century. We continue our trip in the city of the 1910s and continued our trip in the year 1913. We have mentioned since it in the last week, the impact of the construction of the Woolworth Building in the urban infrastructure of the city was very high. Like the Empire State and the Chrysler few years later, the Woolworth was photographed in severy times, and was a referring point in advertising announcements, books, magazines and until in comics books. The Woolworth I mean the triumph of technology, comerce and modern engineering and turned in a symbol of its time.
Here the Woolworth Building and of its surroundings. July 1913
A night view, totally enlighted. July 1913.
Lower Manhattan's Financial District from the American Surety Building. The Singer and Woolworth Buildings appear on this picture. August 1913.
Another of the Woolworth Building and of its surroundings. September 1913.
Lower Broadway's skyscrapers from Bowling Green. November 1913.
Now we advanced in our route in the architectural history of New York and we arrived at 1914. In this year the Municipal Building were completed. The McKim, Mead & White 40-story U-Shaped skyscraper is to today one of the most ecletic building of New York. It was build for the Manhattan Municipal office Building. Its proximity with the City Hall, Tammanyu Hall and Old Police Office and City's justice courts, impulse to begun to development a project to create a Civic Center between Park Row and Chinatown where all the main civic and legal service bureaus of the city were installed in few years, and in a few decades it will be the greatest political and legal justice center of United States, surpassed only by Washington D.C.
Paul Goldberger (1979) says about the Municipal Building.
"The Municipal Building was a serious and attempt as any other to interpret the skyscraper form in terms of historical style, and white it lacks the unusual grace of Woolworth, it is nonetheless a building of inventiveness. The top os a wedding-cake sequence of colonnaded towers surmounted by Adolph Weinman's statue "Civic Fame" -the innocently grandiose vision of the City Beautiful movement como to New York in a skyscraper form. Daniel Burnham would have liked it" (Goldberger, Paul. The City Observed. New York. New York. Vintage Books. 1979. Page 31).
Here the Municipal Building. 1914
Here. The 40-story Equitable Building under construction. February 1914
The Woolworth Building. April 1914.
Lower Manhattan skyscrapers looking northeast from Whitehall Building. may 1914.
Broadway's skyscrapers looking north from Wall Street showing Trinity, Singer and Woolworth Buildings. June 1914. Photo Irving Underhill
Park Avenue looking towards the north from 45th Street. First buildings were build on some air rights space in both sides of the Avenue. June 1914.
Automobiles finally tooks the Fifth Avenue. Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. July 1914.
The Equitable Building under construction. August 1914.
The Adams Express Building. October 1914.
The Candler Building. On 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues. December 1914.
Next. 1915-1916, The Equitable Building and the 1916 Zoning Law.
Yet You have a picture o information about the city on the 1910s Show Here!!
Last edited by erickchristian; September 8th, 2009 at 04:44 PM. Reason: Added more information
Glad your back; looking forward to seeing your next post.
BTW, you are 'quoted' on Google. "you and many more people are invited to add your pictures .......... " Results for a Google search for the terms: (20th century skyscraper).
Last edited by infoshare; July 14th, 2009 at 07:46 PM.
Special: 1914-1916. The Equitable Building and the 1916 Zoning Law. The mass and the birth of the Wedding-Cake Skyscrapers.
Hello friendly!!!!! We are back in this count of the evolution of the World-wide Capital of the Skyscraper. We are in both crucial years in the future urban development of the City of New York. The 1916 Zoning Law.
Although already from the decade of 1890 the authorities were worried about the constant complaints of the New Yorkers by the lost one about solar light caused by the construction of more and more high buildings, for 1914 the trouble was becoming from gravity. The skyscrapers constructed during the 20 years previous to 1914 (coverall, in the area of Wall Street) do not allowed the passage of the light to the street and was created great zones of darknesses in the streets.
Nevertheless, the drop that flare the glass, and that turned in the cause to promove the Zoning Law of 1916, in order to regulate the shape and the height of the buildings, was the construction of the 40-story Equitable Building, in Broadway, between 1913 and 1915.
The Equitable Building (Ernest Graham, Architect) was built to replace the old eigth story Equitable Life Insurance Company Building, that was built in the 1870s and that was destroyed during a fire, in 1912.
The new 40 story building was conceived to be but the great one of the world (in surface), with a total of 1,2 million square feet destined to offices. A complete large street square!!!
As the critic Paul Goldberger says, "..its great mass runing east to west, would cast shadows for blocks arround" (Goldberger. The Skyscraper. New York. Alfred A. Knopf. 1981. Page 13).
Here a pictures of this construction.
August 1914. This skeleton was complete.
The Equitable Life was finished in 1915. The reaction of the Wall Street neighbors by this great mass structure was of indignation. Golberger (1981) says about it:
"The owners of neighboring structures mounted a feeble protest bofore construction, aware that the Equitable would rob their tenants of substancial light" (Goldberger. 1981. Page. 15).
In this site of Internet, the New York City Department of City Planning, says that, the construction of the Equitable Building showed the urgency to count on a control of the height and the shape of the buildings. "Rising without setbacks to its full height, the Equitable Building cast a seven-acre shadow over neighboring buildings, affecting their value and setting the stage for the nation’s first zoning resolution" (About NYC Zoning. New York. 2009. New York City Department of City Planning. See this web site: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zonehis.shtml).
Goldberger says: "But it is no surprise that the Equitable was no popular. No only did it create a glut of office space on the market but, much more important to history, its bulk stimulated the City of New York to legislate some sort of restrictions on skyscraper form and location" (Goldberger. 1981. Page 15).
1916 Zoning Law. The Birth of the Wedding Cake.
The Zoning Law of 1916 was the result of the necessity to regulate the height and the form of the future skyscrapers to permit the passage of light on the street. If the construction of the Equitable Building were the force that stimulus the launching of the decree, also were other factors.
"Housing shortages, caused by an influx of new immigrants, created a market for tenements built to maximum bulk and minimum standards. Warehouses and factories began to encroach upon the fashionable stores along Ladies’ Mile, edging uncomfortably close to Fifth Avenue. Intrusions like these and the impacts of rapid growth added urgency to the calls of reformers for new and more effective height and setback controls for all uses, and for zoning restrictions separating residential, commercial and manufacturing uses" (About NYC Zoning. New York. 2009. New York City Department of City Planning. See this web site: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zonehis.shtml).
According to architect and architectural historian Robert A. M. Stern, in his book New York 1930 (1987). "In the summer of 1914, while the Equitable Building was under construction, the Commission on Building Districts and Restrictions, (...) was formed, reflecting the growin concern taht the city's principal functions needed to be segregated from each other in order to protect neighborhood character. The Commission drafted a ordinance that proposed to divide New York into three types of use districts: commercial, residential, and unrestricted, as well as into five types of high-restrictions districts, determined in proportion to street widt, and a equal number of districts defined by the size of interior courts and backyards required. Championed by the unflagging Bassett and solidly backed by New York's business comunity, the commission's proposal became law on July 25, 1916" (Stern, Robert A. M., Gilmartin, Gregory, Mellins, Thomas. New York 1930. Architecture and Urbanism Between the Two World Wars. New York. Rizzoli. 1987. Page. 34).
The 1916 Zoning Law, that Goldberger says, "among its restrictions were limits to bulk expressed throught a general limit of a skyscraper's total floor area to 12 times the total size of its plot, making another Equitable -which contained a total floor area more than 30 times the size of its land area- and impossibility. Taller skyscraper would follow, and ones that managed to intrude on esthetic grounds more violently than Equitable had" (Golberger. 1981. Page. 15). In other words. The new law forced to future buildings to restrict its surface space on floors to certain height, but on a skyscraper of 30 or 40 stories were constructed, this have to reduce it space to certain height, creating stepbacks that permit the entrance of light to the street. The wedding.cake skyscraper's shape is born.
Manhattan's skyscrapers before the 1916 Zoning Law.
Manhattan's skyscrapers after the 1916's Zoning Law. Manhattan 1930's
I'm come back from more of the city of the 1910's. If you have some commentary and a picture of the city and the 1916 Zoning Law, Show Here!!
Last edited by erickchristian; July 16th, 2009 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Correct the style
Hello friends!!! Here we returned with the count of the history of the Skyline of the City of New York and its skyscrapers. Its evolution throughout 20th. Century. As we yesterday spoke about the Equitable Building and its relation with the 1916 Law Zoning, today we are going to place images of the city in 1915.
Here, the Municipal Building, on july 1915.
The Financial District skyscrapers looking northeast from Empire Building. December 1915
Now we are in 1916. As we mentioned or it were a crucial year for the destiny of the future skyscrapers that are built after that year. In this year the Zoning Law was promove and it going to regulate the form and height of the buildings in certain zones of the city, especially in Manhattan, that or by then, already was consolidated like the world-wide capital of the finances and the businesses and like the world-wide skyscraper's capital. This was possible to the flood perocupacion of the neighbors of Bussiness and Commercial Districts which the highest buildings created zones of darknesses, because they blocked the free passage of the solar light to the street; but, althought, this law was possible thanks to the irritating polemic that cause the construction of the Equitable Building.
Although the law was promulgated in that year and marke the future of the Manhattan's future skyscrapers to be constructed because it was mean the birth of the wedding-cake's shape, the results of those regulations still are not visible in 1916.
There are a pictures of the city on the time of the birth of 1916's Zoning Law.
Bankers Trust, Equitable and Woolworth Buildings. May 1916.
Woolworth Building and Civic Center District from the American Telephone & Telegraph Building under construction. May 1916.
Wall Street looking west toward Trinity Church. July 1916
Wall Street's skyscrapers from Trinity Church. This picture show the Equitable and Bankers Trust Buildings. December 1916.
Newspaper Row looking toward Municipal Building. December 1916.
Now we are in 1917. Here we showed a panoramic general of the Financial District's Skyline from the Hudson River. February 1917.
The same picture in a normal size.
Fifth Avenue looking south from 42nd Street showing the New York Public Library. May 1917.
The Wall Street skyscrapers and Trinityu Church. November 1917.
I offer an excuse to them if I do not place photos of year 1918, because nonstory with images of that year in my collection. An important data of 1918 is that the requirements of the new 1916's Zoning Law begun to be applied. It is in Midtown Manhattan where the new law begins to have an amplied action area to be practice, and one of the first skyscrapers that applies to the maximum the new law is the 24-story Neo-Gothic style Bush Building, constructed in Street 42. Shortly put a picture on this forum an it was showed in the 1920s.
It is moment for saying goodbye to 1910s with some images of the city of that then. Is the year 1919. Bye, Bye.
The World War I (1914-1918) is over. Gretting and glorify for the victorious soldiers and sailors who return to home after the battles for the freedom of America and the World with this Archs of Triumphe!!!. Arch of Triumphe on Fifth Avenue, Broadway and 23rd Street. May 1919. Madison Square Park's area was totally full of skyscrapers.
The Woolworth and its neighborhood. June 1919
The 60-story Cass Gilbert's Woolworth Building, tallest structure on the world at night, totally illuminated. October 1919.
Last edited by erickchristian; September 8th, 2009 at 04:50 PM. Reason: I added more information
Hello friendly! Here we returned with the count of the history of the New York City skyline and its skyscrapers.Its evolution throughout 20th Century. As we yesterday spoke about the Equitable Building and its relation with the 1916's Zoning Law, today we are going to place images of the city in 1915.
Municipal Building. July 1915.
Now we are in 1916. As we mentioned or it were a crucial year for the destiny of the future skyscrapers that were built after that year. In this year was promulgated the new Zoning Law tahat regulated the shape and height of the buildings in certain zones of the city, especially in Manhattan, that or by then, already were consolidated like the world-wide capital of the finances and businesses and like the world-wide Skyscraper Capital. This was possible to the flood worried of the neighbors of which the highest buildings created zones of darknesses, because they blocked the free passage of the solar light to the street; but, overall, this law was possible thanks to the irritating polemic that cause the construction of the Equitable Building. This law mean, the birth of the Wedding-Cake shape Skyscraper. But the results of those regulations still are not visible in 1916.
Here a few pictures of the city in this year.
Bankers Truct and Equitable Buildings on may 1916.
The Woolworth and Civic Center area from the At&T Building under construction. May 1916.
Wall Street looking toward Trinity Church. July 1916.
Wall Street Skyscrapers and Trinity Church: December 1916. It can see the Equitable and Bankers Trust Building.
Newspapers Row looking toward Municipal Building. December 1916.
Now we are in 1917. Here show a panoramic general view of Lower Manhattan's Financial District from the Hudson River. February 1917.
Fifth Avenue looking southwest from 42nd Street. May 1917. Look the New York Public Library.
Trinity Church and Wall Street skyscrapers. November 1917.
I offer an excuse to them if I do not place photos of year 1918, because I no have any picture of that year in my collection. An important data of 1918 is that the requirements of the new Law of Zoning of 1916 begin to be applied. It is in Midtown Manhattan where the new law begun to have a big practice area, and one of the first skyscrapers that applies to the maximum the new law is the 24-story Neogothic style Bush Building, that was build in 42nd Street. Shortly put a picture of the building that it was look in the 1920s.
It is moment for saying goodbye to 1910s with some images of the city of that then.
The World War I (1914-1918) was over!! In 1919 gretting and celebrate for thousands of soldiers and marines who, after a bloddiest battle, return to they homes. Greetting to all American Heroes with Archs of Triumphe on the Fifth Avenue!!!. Here show one of this archs that buildi on the city. Arch of Triumphe on Fifth Avenue and 23rd. Street. May 1919. Look as Madison Square Park appers surrounding of skyscrapers.
The 60-story, Cass Gilbert's Woolworth Building, tallest structure on the World, at night, totally illuminated. October 1919.
Next week, we started the city on 1920s.
For the bloggers: Are you any picture that illustred the city skyline on late 1910's?? Show here!!!
Last edited by erickchristian; July 20th, 2009 at 07:46 PM. Reason: Added more information
I don't think this:
actually existed. That is 5th looking north at Madison Square Park. It also looks suspiciously like the Brandenburg gate,
Thanks for the explanation. The archs of triumph that were placed in several points of the city, in late 19th Century and early 20th century, were used to commemorate some event, to honor to a national hero, or to greeting the victorious soldiers and sailors who arrived at house, like for example, the one that I illustrate that I am placed in the Fifth Avenue, at the end of World War I.
Another case in that the city placed an arch of the triumph in the Fifth Avenue, Broadway and 23 Street were in 1898, when the five districts of the city, until then independent to each other (until that year, New York was only Manhattan Island and the rising district of the Bronx) were united to form the Great New York, with the territorial extension that still preserve until today. This temporary arch (in wood and plaster)
was installed in the intersection of the two great avenues and was flanked by individual columns crowned by winged victories maintaining crowns of laurel in its right hand, celebrating the magnanimous event.
But also there were cases in that the temporary archs became permanent, demolishing the original arch and replacing themselves by a stone replica. The most famous example of this, there is the arch of triumph, dedicated to George Washington, originally was made in wood, placed in the Washington Square, in Greenwich Village, in 1889, to conmemorate the centennial of George Washington's inauguration as president of the United States.
When the celebrations finished the false arch was demolished and the City order to architect Stanford White, of McKim, Mead & White, for the construction of the new arch in white marble, and to a group of sculptors, one of they, Alexander Stirling Calder, father of the famous sculptor Alexander Calder, to realise the sculptures that adorn the monument. The new marble arch was dedicated in 1895.
Hi friendly! We are once again in this count of the evolution of skyline of the New York Skyline trought the 20th Century. This week we landed the machine of the time in the 1920s. This decade is, maybe, the mos important in the city's architectural and urban evolution. It is in this decade in which the city consolidates definitively like the Skyscraper Capital of the World, because the 1916's Zoning Law estimulate the construction of buildings of high-rise buildings, operating the facilities that have to offer the wedding-cake shape for future skyscrapers. The buildings are but narrow in floor area, but this were more and more high now.
The illustrator Hugh Ferris shaped in its drawings, mainly, in 1922, the possibilities that the new Zoning Law offer for the future skyscrapers.
Here the renderings:
Paul Goldberger (1981) says about the Ferris's studies of 1916's Zoning Law:
"Ferris's studies, done in association with architect Harvey Willey Corbett, foresaw buildings rising like mountains, huge masses slicing into the air. In 1922 he produced a set of five drawings indicating what he viewed to be the five stages of development of a design. The series began with an illustration of the total mass available under the zoning law; it was cut away and adjusted gradually in subsecuent drawings to admit light, to create a feasible structure, and to create maketable floors. The series is a progression from a purely abstract mass o buildinh that while larger (...)" (Goldberger, Paul. The Skyscraper. New York. Alfred A. Knopf. 1981. Pages 57-58).
"Ferris's drawing style became a crucial factor in shaping the priorities of the 1920's: his vision of the impact of the zoning law where to affect the age as much as the law itself, as masonry buildings endeavored to take on the feeling of sculpted mountains, their shape sudenly more important than their historical detail or even their style" (Goldberger. 1981. Page. 58).
Simply, the 1920s was named the "First Golden Age" of the skyscrapers and this fever, was only finished with the Great Depression, on early 1930s. This new building boom changed the face of New York Skyline in the course of the following 15 years, after of 1920 and that I do not limit only in the Financial District: in the 1920s, a new commercial center rises: Midtown Manhattan, a old luxurius residential district that extends of this the west and start from Times Square Area to Third Avenue between 30th and 60th Streets. This new commercial center arises thanks to the Terminal Central Grand, to the Pennsylvania Station, the commercial blossoming of the zone of Times Square, the arrival of the modern publicity that finds shelter in Madison Avenue, and coverall, by an ample supply of space to construct in that zone.
Our trip was started on 1920, and this is the look of Manhattan. It showing the construction of Cunard Building, one of the first buildings under the ordenances of 1916's Zoning Law.
There is the Pennsylvania Hotel, on Seventh Avenue and 33rd. Street, front side of Pennsylvania Station. One of the first Skyscraper-Hotels on the city. July 1920.
We have jump to 1921. Here, Park Avenue looking south from 50th Street in june 1921. New residentual high-rise building were buil on the air rights space of Gran Central Terminal's railroads. In this picture can see the new 25-story Commodore Hotel, on 42ns Street on background. In fhe foreground, at right, a new 12-story residential building occupied the air-rights space on Park Avenue between west side of 47th to 48th Streets. in the site of the future Union Carbide Building.
Aerial view of St.Patrick's Cathedral District. July 1921. Photo: Fairchild Aerial Surveys
We're jump on our trip to 1922. In that year, as we already mentioned, it were symbolic by the revelation that the illustrator Hugh Ferris revelated the possibilities that offer the 1916's Zoning Law, which permit to buit very high skyscrapers if it have build in the wedding-cake shape.
Also 1922 was symbolic in the history of modern architecture, particularly, in New York Skyscraper architecture: the international competition for the new Chicago's headquarters for The Chicago Tribune Tower.
The Architectural's Critic, Ada Luise Huxtable says about this:
"In 1922, the international competition for the Chicago Tribune tower demonstrated the full strenght and avriety of the eclectic skyscraper. The range of entries, from avant-garde to retardataire, documents the state of the art of the tall buildings at the end of the first quarter of the twentieth centurty. These buildings crystallize a unique moment in the architecture when the long classical tradition was poised on the edge of the unknown abyss of modernism. Massing, scale and detail were well understood in any number de guises. What seemed improbable at that moment was that modernism whould supplant eclecticism in another twenty-five years" (Huxtable, Ada Louise. The Tall Building Artistically Reconsidered: The Search for a Skyscraper Style. New York. Pantheon Books. Second Edition. 1984. Page. 35).
The first prize was give for Howells and Hood, architect firm, from United States for they ecletic neo-gothic design. Other winners were the finlandian Elilel Saarinen and german Walter Gropius, who design a modern building innovated with new International Style design.
While, in Manhattan the Beaux-Arts style dominated the architectural scene on the city of early 1920s. Here a 1900s-1910s Whitehall Buildings, show here, in 1922.
The Ambassador Hotel, open in 1921, show here, in may 1922.
The Woolworth Building in may 1922.
The Times Tower looking northwest from 40th Street. June 1922
Broad Street looking south from Federal Hall, in Wall Street showing the New York Stock Exchange Building. July 1922.
Times Square looking north from 43rd. Street. November 1922. Check up the Wrigley's Chewing Gum adveristing sign on the top of 4-story building at left of the Astor Hotel, in the site of future Paramount Building. Crazy 1920s.
The rise of the metamorphosis of Midtown Manhattan from residential to commercial district was very quickly. In this aerial view show the Grand Central City on July 1923. Park Avenue's air-right spaces construction activity were almost completed and the avenue were turned an fashonable and luxurius residential district (except the Grand Central Palace, on the east 46th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues). New skyscrapers rises in the site: the 34-story Shelton Hotel, on Lexington Avenue were under construction and new offices and hotel building were rises on 42nd Street rounding Grand Central Terminal.
More offices buildings on Midtown: Pershing Square Building on Park Avenue between East 41st and 42nd Streets in July 1923.
GLITTERING TIMES SQUARE JULY-AUGUST, 1923.
Here a night view of Times Square looking north. July 1923 Check the Wrigley's Sign.
And in august 1923.
The Pennsylvania Station surrounded by new Garment District's office buildings. September 1923.
Next, we were trip to 1924.
For the bloggers: Are you any picture that illustred the city skyline on early 1920s? Show here!!!
Last edited by erickchristian; April 9th, 2011 at 02:07 AM. Reason: Correct the style and added more information