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Phone: 212-945-6324
Email: education@skyscraper.org
Website: http://www.skyscraper.org/


Skyscraper Museum

Skyscrapers, emblems of the modernity in American cities in late 19th and 20th century, commonly drew upon styles reminiscent of the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe. Skyscraper Gothic brings together a group of renowned scholars to explore what the appearance of Gothic forms on radically new buildings meant urbanistically, architecturally, and socially. Please join us as Kevin D. Murphy, co-editor and contributor to the volume, discusses the under-examined interplay between skyscraper design and the Gothic vocabulary.


The last decade of the twentieth century in New York City was not a simple time. The end of one millennium – a thousand-year marker – and the beginning of the 2000s prompted both

anxiety and optimism, reflecting on what to hold onto from the past and how to move into the future.

No place in mid-1990s was more conflicted about these prospects or more ripe for reinvention than lower Manhattan, especially the historic Financial District. Wall Street was losing banks to mergers and relocations. Grand skyscrapers of the 1910s and ‘20s were becoming technologically obsolete and sliding down market. The lasting effect of the 1987 stock market crash, followed by the savings-and-loan scandals, caused a real estate recession that hit Downtown harder than other districts. Vacancy rates for office buildings topped 28 percent. New thinking and policies were necessary.

Michael Chesko's Mini Manhattan Models
Two highly-detailed, hand-carved miniature wooden models of Downtown and Midtown Manhattan have been donated to The Skyscraper Museum by Arizona resident Mike Chesko, a 49-year-old retiree and devoted amateur model maker. In June, Chesko, his wife, son and niece drove cross-country to transport the precious panoramas to the museum and to see the real city at full scale. It was their first trip to New York. Chesko's models measure 17-3/4 by 20 inches for the Lilliputian Lower Manhattan and 37 by 31 inches for Midtown. The scale of the model is 3/8 inch for every 100 feet, meaning that the 1,250 foot Empire State Building reaches only 4.7 inches tall. The tallest of the tiny buildings are the Twin Towers (still standing in this model) which soar a full 5.1 inches. These models are so small that ten city blocks can fit in the palm of your hand.

 Book Talks 2014

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