the history economics of skyscrapers in manhattan n.
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The History & Economics of Skyscrapers in Manhattan

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  1. The History & Economics of Skyscrapers in Manhattan Jason Barr

  2. Steel Cage Construction

  3. Caissons NY Times, 1904

  4. The Crystal Palace ExhibitionBryant Park, 1854

  5. The Grid Plan, 1811

  6. Elevation and Bedrock DepthRelative to Sea Level, meters

  7. Total Annual Skyscraper Height in Manhattan 1890-2007

  8. Home Insurance Building (1885), Chicago 10 stories of 138 feet (42 m)

  9. The Tower Building (1889):New York’s first skyscraper 11 Stories

  10. Period I: 1889-1916 • Cass Gilbert: The skyscraper “is a machine that makes the land pay” (ER, 1900). • F.W. Woolworth: “I do not want a mere building, I want something that will be an ornament to the city'' (NY Times, 1910).

  11. Pulitzer’s World Building, 1890 20 stories, 94 meters

  12. NY Times Building (1904)25, stories, 111 meters The Flatiron (1902), 22, 87 meters

  13. Woolworth Building (1913) 57 stories, 241 meters.

  14. Equitable Building (1915) 40 Stories, 164 meters

  15. Zoning, 1916

  16. Empire State and Chrysler 1931, 381 meters 1930, 319 meters

  17. Economic Height • What is the height that provides the maximum return? • Too tall: • Increasing additional costs for: • Wind bracing • Foundation preparation. • Elevators eat up too much rentable space • Too many floors cause over-supply of space, reducing rents.

  18. Height vs. Ego • “The claim that the skyscraper is an economic fallacy is without foundation. Given the high land values…the skyscraper is not only the most efficient, but the only economic utilization of certain strategic plots.“ Clark and Kingston (1930), p. 146. • “Rascob wanted a building that would literally and figuratively put Walter Chrysler’s building in the shade.” Tauranac (1995) p. 130.

  19. Comparisons • CK Fictional (1929) 1.86 acres: 63 stories maximum return. • 33.9 floors per acre. • Empire State Building (1931):2.1 acres. 102 stories. • 48.6 stories per acre. • Chrysler Building (1930): 0.86 acres. 77 stories • 89.4 stories per acre.

  20. “Too Tall” Skyscrapers

  21. The End. Thank you!