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Old January 3rd, 2005, 08:23 PM   #1
AtlanticaC5
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Oldest high-rise in NYC?

There are over 5,000 high-rises in NYC, but which one of all those was the first? The oldest I know is the Washington Building on 1 Broadway, completed in 1882, but are there older ones?
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 08:32 PM   #2
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I thought it was the Madison Square Building 1889.. you got me then..

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Old January 3rd, 2005, 08:47 PM   #3
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However, Flatiron is thought to be the first and oldest...
It's Steel frame setting it apart...

1st: Define skyscraper?
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 09:07 PM   #4
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yeah, i thought the flatiron was the first 'true' skyscraper as well.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 10:28 PM   #5
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If we count as Emporis, it should have atleast 12 floors, and that's how I define 'skyscraper', but feel free to post your thoughts about that
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 11:10 PM   #6
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The Park Row building (1899 WTB) is taller than the Flatiron as well as being 3 years older, so I think the Flatiron being the first skyscraper/highrise is ruled out.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 11:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islander
The Park Row building (1899 WTB) is taller than the Flatiron as well as being 3 years older, so I think the Flatiron being the first skyscraper/highrise is ruled out.
Steel Frame? Nope.. didn't think so..

EDIT: Damn! okay, so it is....
and in retrospect, yes it does rule out Flatiron
F*@K I hate it when I'm wrong.. sigh...
yes...how would park row be taller when made out of anything but steel...


If you read my 2nd post up top you'll see this is why many people consider Flatiron to be the first true skyscraper..

In other words it has nothing to do with height, the structural makeup of the building is what counts...


If you will see my first post , you will see that the Madison Square Building [1889] which has 10 years on Park Row
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 11:54 PM   #8
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Encyclopædia Britannica Article




very tall, multistoried building. The name first came into use during the 1880s, shortly after the first skyscrapers were built, in the United States. The development of skyscrapers came as a result of the coincidence of several technological and social developments. The term skyscraper originally applied to buildings of 10 to 20 stories, but by the late 20th century the term was used to describe high-rise buildings of unusual height, generally greater than 40 or 50 stories.

The increase in urban commerce in the United States in the second half of the 19th century augmented the need for city business space, and the installation of the first safe passenger elevator (in the Haughwout Department Store, New York City) in 1857 made practical the erection of buildings more than four or five stories tall. Although the earliest skyscrapers rested on extremely thick masonry walls at the ground level, architects soon turned to the use of a cast-iron and wrought-iron framework to support the weight of the upper floors, allowing for more floor space on the lower stories. James Bogardus built the Cast Iron Building (1848, New York City) with a rigid frame of iron providing the main support for upper-floor and roof loads.

It was, however, the refinement of the Bessemer process, first used in the United States in the 1860s, that allowed for the major advance in skyscraper construction. As steel is stronger and lighter in weight than iron, the use of a steel frame made possible the construction of truly tall buildings. In 1855 William Le Baron Jenney's 10-story Home Insurance Company Building in Chicago was the first to use steel-girder construction. Jenney's skyscrapers also first employed the curtain wall, an outer covering of masonry or other material that bears only its own weight and is affixed to and supported by the steel skeleton. Structurally, skyscrapers consist of a substructure of piers beneath the ground, a superstructure of columns and girders above the ground, and a curtain wall hung on the girders.

As the population density of urban areas has increased, so has the need for buildings that rise rather than spread. The skyscraper, which was originally a form of commercial architecture, has increasingly been used for residential purposes as well.

The design and decoration of skyscrapers have passed through several stages. Jenney and his protégé Louis Sullivan styled their buildings to accentuate verticality, with delineated columns rising from base to cornice. There was, however, some retention of, and regression to, earlier styles as well. As part of the Neoclassical revival, for instance, skyscrapers such as those designed by the firm of McKim, Mead, and White were modeled after Classical Greek columns. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Building in New York City (1909) was modeled by Napoleon Le Brun after the Campanile of St. Mark's in Venice, and the Woolworth Building (1913), by Cass Gilbert, is a prime example of neo-Gothic decoration. Even the Art Deco carvings on such towers as the Chrysler Building (1930), the Empire State Building (1931), and the RCA Building (1931) in New York City, which were then considered as modern as the new technology, are now viewed as more related to the old ornate decorations than to truly modern lines.

The International Style with its total simplicity seemed ideally suited to skyscraper design, and, during the decades following World War II, it dominated the field, notable early examples being the Seagram Building (1958) in New York City and the Lake Shore Drive Apartments (1951) in Chicago. The stark verticality and glass curtain walls of this style became a hallmark of ultramodern urban life in many countries. During the 1970s, however, attempts were made to redefine the human element in urban architecture. Zoning ordinances encouraged the incorporation of plazas and parks into and around the bases of even the tallest skyscrapers, just as zoning laws in the first decades of the 20th century were passed to prevent city streets from becoming sunless canyons and led to the shorter, stepped skyscraper. Office towers, such as those of the World Trade Center (1972) in New York City and the Sears Tower (1973) in Chicago, continued to be built, but most of them, such as the Citicorp Center (1978) in New York City, featured lively and innovative space for shopping and entertainment at street level.

Another factor influencing skyscraper design and construction since the late 20th century was the need for energy conservation. Earlier, sealed windows that made necessary continuous forced-air circulation or cooling, for instance, gave way in mid-rise buildings to operable windows and glass walls that were tinted to reflect the sun's rays. Also, perhaps in reaction to the austerity of the International Style, the 1980s saw the beginnings of a return to more classical ornamentation, such as that of Philip Johnson's AT&T Building (1982) in New York City. See also high-rise building.



____________



Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticaC5
If we count as Emporis, it should have at least 12 floors, and that's how I define 'skyscraper', but feel free to post your thoughts about that
and I shall...

again: counting has nothing to do with it..
there is no accredited, or approved number.


Quote:
2 entries found for skyscraper.
sky·scrap·er ( P ) Pronunciation Key (skskrpr)

n : A very tall building.

[Download or Buy Now]
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


skyscraper

n : a very tall building with many stories


Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University
wow. what a huge help that was....

so you guys tell me again.. what is a skyscraper?




what this tells me:

Q: what makes a structure a skyscraper

A: personal opinion basically [based on the fundamentals]

What I think: It falls under materials used..masonry / cast iron is heavy..steel was lighter and stronger, thus allowing the upward growth ...


and it didn't happen in new york
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Last edited by Swivle; January 4th, 2005 at 12:56 AM.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 12:36 AM   #9
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I think the word is [or was] descriptive more than anything,
ergo there is no formal, or specific definition for the term "skyscraper"


that I can find anyway


In my opinion, the first skyscraper was:

*William Le Baron Jenney's 10-story Home Insurance Company Building in Chicago. constructed in 1855
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Last edited by Swivle; January 4th, 2005 at 12:53 AM.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 02:33 AM   #10
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There's no way this building isn't steel framed (on the left):



I only brought up the Park Row building because the Flatiron building was mentioned. I didn't say that the Park Row was NY's first highrise or skyscraper, though some may consider it to be.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 03:21 AM   #11
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islander is right. a building can't stand 119m tall like park row building and not have a steel frame. bricks and stone can't bear that much weight without cracking. the monadnock building in chicago, a building built without a steel frame that's only 60m and 17 floors tall, had to have ultra-thick walls at its base just to support the rest of the building. if you try to build a building as tall as the park row building using no steel frames, you would have to fill in the lower floors with bricks and stone just to support it, and even then it probably won't be enough.

in my opinion, the oldest highrise in nyc is the manhattan life insurance building. built in 1896, it was the first highrise ever to exceed 100m in height (it was 105m tall). however, the building was demolished after they expanded the irving trust building at 1 wall street in the 50s.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 03:22 AM   #12
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and you are correct, it is... I got excited when I found one from 1855 and neglected to do the math..[insert foot in mouth]

so many variations on historical data, or lack there of.
up until I went and looked myself, I assumed since Flatiron was the first steel structure, Park Row was out of the equation..
and yes I know what happens when you ass-u-me..
when I found 1855, I should have given Park Row a closer look.

and I know you were not claiming Park Row, you just used it as an example

but all this aside, I'm curious.. what makes a skyscraper in your eyes??

_________________________________________________________________


PARK ROW HISTORY


From nyc-architecture.com


New York Architecture Images-Seaport and Civic Center

THE PARK ROW BUILDING Landmark

architect
Robert Henderson Robertson
location
15 Park Row
date
1896-1899
style
Beaux-Arts
construction
118,9m / 391.0ft, 30 floors, steel structure
limestone
buff-brick
type
Office Building

The 30-story Park Row Building was the tallest office building in the world from the time of its completion until the completion of the Singer Building in 1908. Built as a speculative office building by a syndicate of investors lead by August Belmont (also the entrepreneur behind the Interborough Rapid Transit Company (IRT), a private company responsible for the building and operation of the original subway line) the office block originally accommodated 950 offices and over 4,000 workers. It exploited the newly developed all steel-skeleton technology. The syndicate bought and consolidated seven smaller lots to create this large but very irregularly shaped site which lacked the corner lot. The exterior lacks the soaring profile and slender tower of the office buildings that would take the title of tallest building in the next decade, the Singer Building, Metropolitan Life Tower and Woolworth Building. The most distinctive elements of its design are the two three-story cupolas and four life-sized sculpted figures projecting from the fourth floor of the Park Row front. Bibliography Here are some particularly useful and amusing volumes to consult on the high-rise history of downtown: Chase, W. Parker. New York 1932: The Wonder City. First published New York: Wonder City Publishing, 1932. Reprint: New York: New York Bound, 1983. Dolkart, Andrew. Forging a Metropolis. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1990. Published in conjunction with the exhibition Forging a Metropolis, Whitney Museum of American Art, Downtown at the Federal Reserve. Dolkart, Andrew and Steven Wheeler. Touring Lower Manhattan. New York: New York Landmarks Conservancy, 2000. Landau, Sarah Bradford and Carl Condit. The Rise of the New York Skyscraper: 1865-1913. New Haven: Yale, 1996. Stern, Robert A.M., Thomas Mellins, and David Fishman. New York 1880: Architecture and Urbanism in the Gilded Age. New York : Monacelli Press, 1999.
notes
PARK ROW BUILDING, 15 Park Row (aka 13-21 Park Row, 3 Theatre Alley, and 13 Ann Street), Manhattan. Built 1896-99; architect R. H. Robertson.
Landmarks Preservation Commission. Designated June 15, 1999; LP-2024

Summary

The 30-story, 391-foot-high Park Row Building was the tallest building in New York City and one of the tallest structures in the world between 1899, the year of its completion, and 1908. Located on Park Row across from City Hall Park, the Park Row Building remains, by virtue of its height and twin cupola-topped towers, one of the most distinctive buildings in lower Manhattan. It is one of several surviving late nineteenth-century office towers on a street that became known as Newspaper Row, the center of newspaper publishing in New York City from the 1840s to the 1920s. The building housed the offices of the Associated Press news agency which had been incorporated in New York in 1900, as well as the headquarters of August Belmont's Interborough Rapid Transit Company. The building's architect, R. H. Robertson, who was prominent for his institutional and commercial buildings, designed the Park Row Building using a number of classical elements, including four large sculpted figures set on overscaled brackets, huge columns and pilasters, as well as several projecting ornamental balconies. The two towers that rise above the crowning cornice are capped by ornamented domes which immediately distinguished this structure when it was added to the skyline of New York City at the turn of the century. Early twentieth-century artists admired the shape of the Park Row Building; Alvin Langdon Coburn and Charles Sheeler featured it in their photographs. The building remains in use as a commercial office building.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Park Row or Ivins Syndicate Building
Height: 386 feet (118 meters) to cornice
Original owners: William Mills Ivins, head of investment syndicate
Architect: R.H. Robertson
Engineer: Nathaniel Roberts
Constructed from 1896-99
The Park Row Building still stands today facing City Hall Park in lower Manhattan. Commissioned in 1896 by William Mills Ivins, the head of an investment group, the structure was built as speculative office space. It rises 386 feet to its cornice and 391 feet to the lanterns placed atop the structure; counting the four stories in the lanterns, the building is 30 stories tall. The interior could accommodate up to 1,000 offices, and was the home of the first IRT subway headquarters. Under the direction of architect R.H. Robertson and engineer Nathaniel Roberts, the building was under construction for over three years.

The facade of the Park Row Building was a tall rectangle divided into six horizontal sections, with twin cupolas crowned in copper adding to the height. The design was little loved by contemporary critics who termed the towers "insignificant terminations which add nothing," and noted that in their proximity, the Park Row and St. Paul Buildings "stand and swear at each other" across Ann Street.

Text by Melissa Matlins


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Built in 1896-1899 at the intersection of Broadway and Park Row.
This 32-storey, twin-domed building rises to the height of 117 m; it took the title of the world's tallest building from the neighbouring, 26-storey St. Paul Building (95 m), completed to the "Newspaper Row" only a few months earlier. The building had the Interborough Rapid Transit Company, operating the first subway lines in NYC, as one of its early tenants.

The horizontally divided facade of limestone and brick is mainly decorated by balconies and ornamental ledges, along with four female sculptures on the rusticated base. The twin domes, originally functioning as observatories, are topped further by smaller, copper-clad domes.

The building features twin courtyards on the Ann Street side, allowing as much natural light into the building's interior as possible.

Along with the original, richly veined marble decor and coffered ceiling, the lobby also has its old semi-circular elevators arranged in an arc formation, with the doors facing the center.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once the tallest building in the world, 15 Park Row still graces Manhattan’s skyline with its elegant form looking out onto City Hall Park. Owned by J&R Music World the building’s base 10 floors shall remain commercial offices for the electronics retailer, the next 15 floors make up the residential conversion and the top 3 floors are for private use.

With the demand for quality living space far exceeding the number of rental properties available in the downtown market, the conversion of many existing class B & class C office buildings to residential buildings is an obvious choice for many developers. A diversified mix of New Yorkers including young singles, growing families, bankers, brokers, and empty nesters are all attracted to Lower manhattan.

The challenge inherent in this type of conversion is to take the building’s floor plates that are designed for an office type layout and retrofit into them efficient and marketable apartment layouts.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In front of Pace University, at the intersection of Park Row, Spruce Street, and Nassau Street, stands a statue of Benjamin Franklin. That and some fine old buildings are the only vestiges of Newspaper Row, once the bustling home to New York's press. Franklin's statue, erected when the intersection was called Printing House Square, was a tribute to the Founding Father's career as editor, publisher, and printer of The Pennsylvania Gazette and Poor Richard's Almanac.

Crossing the hectic traffic corridor that is Park Row today can be frightening despite the benign presence of City Hall and other handsome buildings. As with South Street, old photographs give the best sense of its former energy and color.

Pictures from different decades of the nineteenth century show that Newspaper Row changed at a dizzying pace, even by New York standards. The New York Times outgrew its headquarters at 41 Park Row after only thirty-two years. Its second building, erected in 1889, still stands. The gold-domed World Building at Frankfort Street, and the Tribune Building at Spruce, which dominate so many old views of the street, are long gone. But many fine structures of the day still line Park Row and the little streets to its south and east.

Immigration and commerce sparked the city's nineteenth century growth, and its publications kept pace. Then, as now, New York supported an enormous foreign-language press and was home to many special-interest journals and trade publications. Most were published on or near Park Row.

A photo from about 1875 shows the Portuguese O Novo Mundo sharing space with the Times in its old building. Next door were the Scottish American Journal, The World, and The Coal and Iron Record, among others.

The largest foreign-language paper was the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung, which served the city's huge late-nineteenth century German-speaking population from a mansard-roofed building on the southern portion of the present Municipal Building site. Its predecessor, the Tryon Row Buildings, housed The Sentinel and Freeman's Journal, an Irish nationalist paper that published from 1840 to 1918.

The history of journalism in New York is proud but turbulent. In 1735, John Peter Zenger was acquitted of seditious libel for criticizing the colonial government in his New-York Weekly Journal, establishing an early and firm foothold for a free American press.

Less beneficial to society were the "yellow journalism" wars between Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal, which led to inaccurate, exaggerated reporting and writing in their quest to sell papers. Feeding off the expansionist spirit of the day, these journals and others agitated shamelessly to incite the Spanish-American War.

Every paper tried to stake out its own style and hold its niche in the New York market. By the late nineteenth century, however, some were paying as much attention to national and world news as local, and taking pains to report all of it seriously and impartially. Already dominating the United States in commerce, New York became America's news capital too. And the news capital of New York was Park Row.

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Last edited by Swivle; January 4th, 2005 at 08:59 AM.
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Old January 4th, 2005, 03:34 AM   #13
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I was working on my last post while you responded..

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7 World Trade
islander is right. a building can't stand 119m tall like park row building and not have a steel frame. bricks and stone can't bear that much weight without cracking. the monadnock building in chicago, a building built without a steel frame that's only 60m and 17 floors tall, had to have ultra-thick walls at its base just to support the rest of the building. if you try to build a building as tall as the park row building using no steel frames, you would have to fill in the lower floors with bricks and stone just to support it, and even then it probably won't be enough.
So cast-iron would be way to heavy as well? or would it?



I had no knowledge of a steel structure that pre-dated Flatiron, or of the fact that cast iron could not hold 30 stories..
I knew masonry couldn't, but wasn't sure about CI
never thought about it I guess
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