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

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

by Carol Willis, Daniel Abramson




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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568982441
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Publication date: 12/28/2000
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsix
Chapter 1Introduction1
Wall Street's Architecture Before 19201
Chapter 2The Clients16
Wall Street in the 1920s
Cities Service
Henry L. Doherty
Irving Trust
City Bank Farmers Trust
40 Wall Street
Finance and the Real Estate Market
Chapter 3The Architects32
Clinton & Russell, Holton & George
Voorhees, Gmelin & Walker
Cross & Cross
Severance, Matsui, Smith, and Walker & Gillette
Other Financial District Architects
Skyscraper Challenges
Professional Practice
Tradition, Modernity, and Texture
Chapter 4Planning52
Cities Service Building
One Wall Street
40 Wall Street
City Bank Farmers Trust Building
Interior Planning
The Office Unit
Chapter 5Construction72
Demolition, Excavation, Foundation
Steel Frame
Facade and Finish
Management and Labor
Chapter 6Technology82
Vertical Transportation
Environmental Systems
Enclosure and Concealment
Chapter 7Exterior Expression94
I Iteral Tradition
Tradition Abridged
40 Wall Strfft: Hybrid Heights
City Bank Farmers Trust: "Conservative Modern"
Art Deco
One Wall Street: Rhythm and Remedy
Cities Service Building: Vertical Aspiration
Modernist Restraint and Volume
Chapter 8Interior Distinction120
General and Partitioned Offices
Corporate Suites
Exective offices
Board of Directors Rooms
Executive Amenities
Public Halls
Irving Trust's Reception Room
Observation Galleries
Chapter 9Skyscraper Lives152
"City in a Tower"
"Half a Million Penmen" (and women)
Changing New York
Skyscraper Debate
Symbolizing New York
"You are America!"
Beautiful Irony
Chapter 10Postscript182

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