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Skyscraper Rivals: The Aig Building and the Architecture of Wall Street [Hardcover]

Daniel M. Abramson , Carol Willis
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

24 Nov 2000
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

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (24 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568982445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568982441
  • Product Dimensions: 30.8 x 25 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,958,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE SKYSCRAPER EXPLOSION IN NEW YORK'S FINANCIAL DISTRICT OF THE late 1920s and early 1930s revolutionized the Lower Manhattan skyline. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars all good 29 May 2013
By perth45
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great fodder if like me you are interested in architecture....and skyscrapers.....and photography, all in all a great bulky book full of info and pics....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Production values (pictorially/editorially) are fantastic. 12 Nov 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Coincidentally, I also am in Somerville, MA. I happened upon this only because it was displayed prominently in a local Cambridge institution in Harvard Square on top of a stack of new architecture and art books that I passed by just browsing. I probably buy more computer-related books (not many at all) than architecture these days, but after looking through this I easily decided to buy it then and there. Two buildings I never previously knew existed, but are richly and lovingly documented (right down to the oddball uniforms the staff had to wear during that period in time). Equal parts historical reference and architectural anthology of the two structures. It currently occupies the top shelf of my living room bookcase.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book on Skyscrapers 19 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Daniel Abramson is a first-class writer who beautifully handles a large and interesting subject. Hundreds of photos make the book highly accessible. The text perfectly complements the photographs. Outstanding.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonders of Wall Street 2 May 2005
By Shannon Deason - Published on
What a wonderful book, the vintage black and white photos are amazing. I found this book so interesting, I had no idea about this wonderful story. I recommend this book on so many levels. If you enjoy great vintage photos, interesting history, and New York..all of which I do. This books makes you appreciate the beauty of Art Deco skyscrapers and makes you sad that the more modern buildings don't even compare. I commend the authors on reviving this wonderful history and for providing wonderful vintage photos of a more stylish past.
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed 9 Feb 2014
By Robert W. Bilkie - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was hoping there would be far more construction pictures than what was provided. Glad i waited for the price to come down.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 6 Jan 2009
By Robert J. Hall - Published on
I had become fascinated with the lower Manhattan skyscrapers on a walking tour of the area, and wanted to learn more about them. This book has great photos of important Wall St. skyscrapers, and also information about the owners, architects, tenants, inside ornamentation, etc. Really a fine book.
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