Jason M. Barr’s book Building the Skyline: The Birth and Growth of Manhattan’s Skylines (Oxford University Press, 2016) is now available in paperback.
The Manhattan skyline is one of the great wonders of the modern world. In Building the Skyline, Jason Barr chronicles the history of the Manhattan skyscrapers and provides insights into the economic forces that have created its distinctive and iconic panorama.
Bedrock is Manhattan’s natural and geological history, which influenced early land use and the development of neighborhoods, including the dense tenement neighborhoods of Five Points and the Lower East Side.
Barr sheds light on why skyscrapers emerged downtown and why they appeared three miles to the north in midtown – but not in between the two areas – and debunks myths that geology was the cause. Rather, the patterns of skyscraper construction reflected economic and demographic forces at the time, which in turn influenced subsequent developments.
Jason M. Barr is a Professor at Rutgers University-Newark in the Department of Economics. His research interests include urban economics, and agent-based computational economics.
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