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Thread: New York Skyscraper Statistics

  1. #1

    Default New York Skyscraper Statistics

    For an overview of New York's skyscrapers, completed and existing, go to www.skyscraperpage.com/diagrams/?

    Set the diagram for "New York, built", omitting proposed, destroyed, under construction, on-hold, cancelled, fantasy, etc. *Arrange the buildings by roof height, omitting the distorting effects of antennas and masts.

    You will get a true survey of New York's presently-completed skyscrapers. This is what you will find if you do the figures:

    1. Three out of New York's four tallest buildings were built before 1931. Five out of seven were completed before 1933.

    2. Of the top ten, six were built before 1960; of the top twelve, eight were built before 1963.

    3. Twelve of the top twenty were built before 1972, while fully 21 out of the top 30 date from before 1973!

    4. Of the top fifty, 28 were built before 1974.

    5. Before 1976, 57 of New York's 100 tallest buildings already existed; and fully 87 of the top 150 were built before 1976!!

    In every category, a majority of the tall buildings are old.

    Now do this same study with Shanghai and see what you get.

    Thank you, NIMBYs.

  2. #2

    Default New York Skyscraper Statistics

    According to this site I interpolated that the Deutsche Bank will be the 5th tallest building to ever be demolished, after wtc 1, 2, Singer, and wtc 7.

  3. #3

    Default New York Skyscraper Statistics

    There's more at work here than just "NIMBY's". NYC has gone through an entire social revolution since the high-point of the skyscraper in the 20's/30's.

    Historic buildings and neighborhoods now mean something and are being saved, quality of life has risen ten-fold, sanitation and health measures exist where in the past they were only after-thoughts.

    Don't let this "mine's bigger than yours" psuedo-war w/China blind you to the fact that NYC is a much better place to live than at any era in the past. The city has matured, things develop slower but for the average person that is a good thing. Ask any of the tens-of-thousands of average Chinese forced out of their historic neighborhoods in Shanghai (razed in the past few years) in the name of "progress" how they feel about being relocated way out of the city into ugy, homogenous housing blocks.

    NYC did all that in the past (re:Robert Moses) and I like to think we learned a little something. The sum of a city is not its tallest buildings, it's the fabric and we've got that in spades here. You can build all the highrises you want but they don't necessarily add up to a "neighborhood" with all the flavor that encompasses.

    Ever been to Pudong? That fabric has a s***load of holes and the rest of the city is demolishing its history at an alarming rate. Decades from now they'll be dealing with the same issues we have now.

  4. #4
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    Default New York Skyscraper Statistics

    Enzo, you make good points. *But don't be surprised if you see another super-skyscraper here in the US...egos never get smaller and Manhattan isn't getting any bigger.

  5. #5

    Default New York Skyscraper Statistics

    enzo,

    All your points are well made and true, but they have not much to do with building tall in present day New York. Lurking in there somewhere is the following NIMBY assumption: you can have quality of life or you can have tall buildings, but you can't have both.

    I invite you to recognize this for the nonsense that it is.

  6. #6

    Default New York Skyscraper Statistics

    According to this site I interpolated that the Deutsche Bank will be the 5th tallest building to ever be demolished, after wtc 1, 2, Singer, and wtc 7.
    I would like to maintain a distinction between demolished and destroyed. *Even if DB must be torn down because of irreparable damage from the 9-11 attacks, it is a rational act handled in a measured fashion--the collapses of WTC 1,2 and 7 were violence on a grand scale. *An earthquake could have done the same thing, but the evil intent and hatred that caused those structures to fall makes it hard for me to ever see them as 'demolished'.

    It's like the difference between the deaths of John Lennon and George Harrison--they both are dead, but the loss of Lennon is much harder to live with due to the fact that he was murdered.

  7. #7

    Default New York Skyscraper Statistics

    Quote: from ablarc on 10:34 am on June 22, 2003
    enzo,

    All your points are well made and true, but they have not much to do with building tall in present day New York. Lurking in there somewhere is the following NIMBY assumption: you can have quality of life or you can have tall buildings, but you can't have both.

    I invite you to recognize this for the nonsense that it is.
    ablarc, I agree that this is nonesense, but your height statistics of NYC vs Shanghai are meaningless as a measure of the comparative livability of the two cities - which was Enzo's point.

  8. #8

    Default New York Skyscraper Statistics

    We are in some what of a drought, but larger projects coming out like the Bloomberg Tower, TWC, New York Times Tower, the new 7WTC, new WTC (if the NIMBYs would stop trying to delay the construction), and a few other well get back in track.

  9. #9

    Default New York Skyscraper Statistics

    Zippy,

    And my point too.

  10. #10

    Default New York Skyscraper Statistics

    Additionally, I would add that prior to 1976, Shanghai had NO skyscrapers. *In fact, just about every city in the world outside the US had virtually no skyscrapers. *The fact remains that for three quarters of a century New York was miles ahead in its skyscraper development. *

    Furthermore, New York's vast experience with commercial development dictates that further construction is economically merited, rather than a Petronas-like "I have arrived" propaganda statement.

    When those Shanghai buildings are 50% empty 10 years from now, we'll talk about who got the better end of skyscraper development.

  11. #11
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    Default New York Skyscraper Statistics

    Shanghai had a few nice mid-rise buildings in the '30s; nothing that broke 300 feet, but they were the first skyscrapers in the Far East.

    Chicago had the greatest skyline outside of New York, but Cleveland had the tallest building: Terminal Tower, 708 feet and 50 or so stories. *The first thousand-footer outside of NY was John Hancock Center in 1969.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    1. Three out of New York's four tallest buildings were built before 1931. Five out of seven were completed before 1933.

    2. Of the top ten, six were built before 1960; of the top twelve, eight were built before 1963.

    3. Twelve of the top twenty were built before 1972, while fully 21 out of the top 30 date from before 1973!

    4. Of the top fifty, 28 were built before 1974.

    5. Before 1976, 57 of New York's 100 tallest buildings already existed; and fully 87 of the top 150 were built before 1976!!

    In every category, a majority of the tall buildings are old.
    You'd think the upshot of all this would be that New York's present skyline looks dominated by older buildings, but that isn't the case. The reason is the vast proliferation of mid-height mediocrities in recent years, which have sprung up like tall weeds all around our ornamental bushes.

    These don't show up in the "tallest" statistics, but they now determine the character of New York's skyline by anonymously filling in the places where sky once appeared and making a plateau; New York's skyline no longer looks like a bar graph. To compound the skyline's dumbing-down, most of the offending newcomers meet the sky with a flattop or some kind of mechanical penthouse.

    It's tempting to say this is all an outcome of economics, but that ignores the fact that we still have egomaniacs like Trump who periodically attempt to build very tall and are shot down by the NIMBYs on essentially aesthetic grounds.

    Since the issue is couched in aesthetic terms and enshrined thus in the zoning ordinance, I propose an aesthetically-motivated amendment to present zoning to promote a refreshing of New York's increasingly unvariegated skyline:

    After appropriate consultation, Amanda Burden and the Mayor should appoint a blue-ribbon commission of architects, planners, historians and critics to identify places in major iconic views of New York where extremely tall buildings would have a major positive aesthetic impact. Those places could have height restrictions and FAR limits lifted. I'd add a request that the resulting buildings meet the sky in some distinctive fashion.

    Let's restore the skyline to the magnificence it enjoyed from 1930 to the ongoing onslaught of the flat-tops. There may be a whole lot more skyscrapers now, but the skyline as a whole presented a much more magnificent panorama of vastness back then.

    Sometimes more is less, but with appropriate action we can restore balance, and balance in this case means a number of supertalls soaring above the weeds of mediocrity.

    .
    Last edited by ablarc; April 15th, 2006 at 11:09 AM.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    After appropriate consultation, Amanda Burden and the Mayor should appoint a blue-ribbon commission of architects, planners, historians and critics to identify places in major iconic views of New York where extremely tall buildings would have a major positive aesthetic impact.
    You're going to ask those two? Good luck. Mike and Amanda only want tall buildings on the Far West Side. They view everything else as competition for their dream of a new third business district.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC
    You're going to ask those two? Good luck. Mike and Amanda only want tall buildings on the Far West Side.
    Well, they're the ones to whom the task would naturally fall. Amanda seems to have a fair grasp of the aesthetics of city building.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc

    you can have quality of life or you can have tall buildings
    I hate this bullshit wave of thought get out of manhattan

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