History of New York Skyscrapers

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History of New York Skyscrapers

The World Building – 1890

The World Building (also know as the Pulitzer Building) was originally owned by Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World. Its architect was George B. Post and construction began October 10th, 1889. It was opened on December 10th, 1890, and was the first building in New York to surpass the 284 feet. The New York World Building was the tallest of several high-rise structures built for major newspapers in the late 19th century. The number of stories is disputed; estimates range from the 26 stories claimed by the World to the 16 or 18 suggested by recent scholars. The World Building was 309 feet tall and was demolished in 1955 for the expanded automobile entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Manhattan Life Insurance Co. Building 1894
The Manhattan Life Insurance Company Building was constructed in 1893 and was opened in 1894. In 1892 the Manhattan Life Insurance Company held a competition for its headquarters, selecting architects Kimball and Thompson as the winners. The structure was intended to be the tallest in New York. The building featured a few engineering firsts designed by engineer Charles Sooysmith. The interior was heated and cooled through one of the first uses of electric ventilation. Manhattan Life was demolished in 1930 to make way for the Irving Trust Bank’s headquarters, the masterpiece One Wall Street.

St. Paul Building – 1898
This building was named after the historic St. Paul's Chapel located across the street. The St. Paul Building was constructed in 1895 and was 315 feet (96 meters) tall. The building was opened in1898 and its General contractor was Robinson & Wallace. The St Paul Building was called by one critic of the time "perhaps the least attractive design of all New York's skyscrapers."

The Park Row – 1899
Building originally owned by William Mills Ivins, the head of investment syndicate. The building was constructed in 1896 and took three years to complete. The building is 386 feet (118 meters) tall and its architect is R.H. Robertson. The building is 30 stories tall, the interior could accommodate up to 1,000 offices, and its engineer was Nathaniel Roberts. The Park Row Building still stands today facing City Hall Park in lower Manhattan.

Singer Building – 1908
The Singer building was construced in 1906 and opened in 1908. The first design by architect Ernest Flagg was a thirty-five story tower, but the company soon decided to nearly double that height with a tower of almost 600 feet.

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