Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago

Front Cover
Princeton Architectural Press, Nov 1, 1995 - Architecture - 217 pages
2 Reviews
Although fundamental factors of program, technology, and economics make tall buildings everywhere take similar forms, skyscrapers in New York and Chicago developed very differently in the first half of the twentieth century. In contrast to standard histories that counterpose the design philosophies of the Chicago and New York "schools," Willis shows how market formulas produced characteristic forms in each city"vernaculars of capitalism"that resulted from local land-use patterns, municipal codes, and zoning. Refuting some common clichs of skyscraper history such as the equation of big buildings with big business and the idea of a "corporate skyline," Willis emphasizes the importance of speculative development and the impact of real-estate cycles on the forms of buildings and on their spatial distribution.

Form Follows Finance cautions that the city must be understood as a complex commercial environment where buildings are themselves businesses, space is a commodity, and location and image have value.

  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago

User Review  - alison - Goodreads

written like an academic paper, do not expect to have your mind blown with the prose and story telling. however, this is perfect if you're in interested in: why our skylines and skyscrapers look like ... Read full review

Review: Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago

User Review  - Frank Stein - Goodreads

From the author's preferred title "Vernaculars of Capitalism," I half-expected 200 pages of "shocking" revelations about the profit motives behind skyscraper construction, but Willis's true ... Read full review

Contents

19
69
VERNACULARS OF CAPITALISM
130
Notes
183
Illustration Credits
206
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1995)

Carol Willis is founding director of the Skyscraper Museum in New York City.

Bibliographic information