Skyscraper Rivals: The AIG Building and the Architecture of Wall Street

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Princeton Architectural Press, Dec 1, 2000 - Architecture - 176 pages
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Millions of visitors flock to New York each year to witness the excitement of Wall Street, famous for its shoulder-to-shoulder Deco towers jostling for prominence above the canyon like streets. Skyscraper Rivals is the first book to examine the architecture of Wall Street between the wars through an amazing array of contemporary and archival images and an informed discussion of the financial, geographical, and historical forces that shaped this district. The book focuses on the AIG Building—once known as the Cities Service Building—and three other major towers in the financial district, in their race to be the tallest, the most modern, and the most lavish. We meet the tycoons who paid for these structures, the architects who designed them, the workers who labored in them, and the artists and photographers who portrayed them. The economics of skyscraper construction and the real-estate market of Wall Street are explained; also included are illuminating details and anecdotes surrounding each building's history. An essay by Carol Willis, director of New York's Skyscraper Museum and author of Form Follows Finance, provides an introduction.

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About the author (2000)

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

Daniel M. Abramson is an assistant professor of art history at Tufts University who has written extensively on another financial structure, John Soane's Bank of England.

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