History of New York Skyscrapers

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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Its engineers were Otto F. Semsch; Boller & Hodge, Charles G. Armstrong, consulting. Although significantly taller than previous skyscrapers, the Singer Tower held the title for only a year, when it was surpassed by the Metropolitan Life Tower. In 1963 the Singer Corporation sold the building, and in 1968 it became the tallest building ever demolished as it made way for the U.S. Steel Building, known today as One Liberty Plaza.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower – 1909
     The Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower is 700 feet (213 meters) tall. It was contracted in 1907 and opened in 1909. The building has been remodeled numerous times and the four-clock faces are the only thing that remains today from the building. Its architects are Napoleon LeBrun and Sons. First planned to be 658 feet, the final height stretched to 700 feet. This building advertised the company's status as s the largest insurer in the world.

Woolworth Building – 1913
     The Woolworth building is a unique skyscraper because it was financed in cash, unusual for any large comericial structure. The height and cost escalated from an estimated 625 feet and $5 million to the final of 792 feet for $13.5 million. Its original owners were Frank W. Woolworth and the Irving Trust Company. The building was constructed in 1910 and opened in 1913. The building is 792 feet (241 meters) tall, its architect is Cass Gilbert and its engineers were the Gunvald Aus Company.

The Manhattan Company - 1930
     The Manhattan Company building is 927 feet tall and it is owned by the trump organization. Its architects are H. Craig Severance and Yasuo Matsui and it was opened in 1930. In 1946 an army transport plane en route to Newark Airport got lost in fog and crashed into the building's fifty-eighth floor, killing all five people aboard. Badly in need of renovation and eighty-nine percent vacant, in 1992 40 Wall Street was purchased by the Trump Organization for less than eight million dollars. With a great deal of investment, 40 Wall Street has been well tenanted since the late 1990s.
The Chrysler Building – 1930
     Like the Manhattan Company skyscraper, the Chrysler building was also in a three-way race to become the world’s largest building. Just one week after the Bank of Manhattan had reached its top, the metal spire of the Chrysler building was put in place, making it 319 meters high, thus beating the Bank of Manhattan as the highest building in the world. It would not keep this title for long: one year later the Empire State building was erected. It quickly became the poster child for art deco skyscrapers. This building was opened May 28th, 1930.

The Empire State Building – 1931
     The Empire State building immediately became the tallest building in the world, and a landmark and symnol for New York City. when it was completed in April 1931, the EMPIRE STATE broke every record in the book. At 1250 feet, it topped the Chrysler Building by 200 feet and the third tallest, the Manhattan Company Building at 40 Wall Street, by more than 300 feet. The building was completed in an amazing twenty months and President Hoover light it up on opening day.

The World Trade Center – 1973
     The world trade center is a 16-acre site, consisting of several buildings. The towers cost an estimated $1.5 billion. The twin towers were the first skyscraper buildings designed without any masonry. The columns were finished with a silver-colored aluminum alloy, making the towers appear to have no windows at all from far away. When complete, the Center met with mixed reviews, but at 1,368 and 1,362 feet and 110 stories each, the twin towers were the world's tallest, and largest, buildings until the Sears Tower surpassed them both in 1974. It architects were Minoru Yamasaki, Emery Roth and Son, and it was owned by both the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The world Trade Center Towers were demolished on September 11th, 2001 by a terrorist attack.

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