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Old August 21st, 2013, 10:27 PM   #1
adryon
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DISCUSS:World's development at 1930

I want to discuss a few things about the world's skyscraper development history under other circumstances.

As we all probably know, in 1930, the city with the most skyscrapers and the best skyline was New York. It had an enormous real estate boom and a very promising future (aka Shenzhen of 1930's).

It already had a 400m+ tower, another 300m+, etc. But something happened which staggered this progression which was obvious the biggest in the world at that time. It was the Great Depression of 1930.

After that depression, nobody wanted to build a tower very tall.
There was also a height limit imposed in 1916.

Now I want to discuss how would the world look like if it wasn't the Great Depression and the 1916 zoning resolution? And how would NYC look like today? We would had the 1 km tower earlier?

Disclaimer: I'm not living in NYC, so sorry if my history of NYC isn't the best. But I hope i informed myself good before starting this thread.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 11:48 PM   #2
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The Great Depression halted the construction of College Park in Toronto. It would have been the largest retail and office complex in the world upon completion. It would have been our Empire State Building, all be it shorter and fatter. Only 1 corner was finished when the stock market crashed. Construction never resumed, but that corner still exists in downtown Toronto today.

If the Great Depression never happened, Toronto (and likely Montreal) would have a number of tall art deco towers standing in their cores today. In reality, only a few exist and none over 200m. It's a shame because New York pushed ahead with their ESB despite the market crash. We should have done the same.

Eatons College Park, TORONTO


This is as far as they got
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 11:36 PM   #3
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toronto is currently booming, they should just finish building it now
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 01:54 AM   #4
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Historical re-creation is a very tricky thing and needs special attention to detail to get right. I'd certainly support such an endeavour in this case. I suppose it would cost a small fortune though. Torontonians lament the dearth of grand pre-war high rises in the city and this is one we should have had all along.

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Old August 23rd, 2013, 05:39 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adryon View Post
It already had a 400m+ tower, another 300m+, etc. But something happened which staggered this progression which was obvious the biggest in the world at that time. It was the Great Depression of 1930.

After that depression, nobody wanted to build a tower very tall.
Let's not forget get that we also had WW2 in 40s to follow the Great Depression in the 30s, so actually a lot stymied the growth of the Manhattan skyline at that time. It really didn't have time to recover from the Great Depression.
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 08:20 AM   #6
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NYC and Chicago were neck to neck.
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 08:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Let's not forget get that we also had WW2 in 40s to follow the Great Depression in the 30s, so actually a lot stymied the growth of the Manhattan skyline at that time. It really didn't have time to recover from the Great Depression.
That's true of almost every city. It wasn't till 1945 that the world got a chance to catch its breath. By that time, the world had changed drastically and the 1920s and its architecture was of another era. It's an unfortunate twist of history as it really was astoundingly grand architecture that we may never see equalled.

I think there's a segment of modern society that longs for the ornamentation and quality of that time. Perhaps we will see a brief flirtation with it again. I hope so.
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 12:57 PM   #8
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As I watched some diagrams with NYC buildings, not a single high-rise was built between 1935 and late '50s. This was primary because of WW2.
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 08:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adryon View Post
As I watched some diagrams with NYC buildings, not a single high-rise was built between 1935 and late '50s. This was primary because of WW2.
And in spite of the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed, the financing was already in place to build the buildings that were considered the zenith of the golden age of the skyscraper. It's just that buildings such as the Empire State building stayed pretty empty for some time after that.
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Old August 23rd, 2013, 10:05 PM   #10
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Riyadh in 1930

This the best building from mud & it was a palace



comparison

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Old August 24th, 2013, 03:03 AM   #11
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Likewise London's Selfridges department store was never completed due to the crash. The tower above the present 1929 building never materialised:



www.essential-architecture.com


today:



http://london-sightseeing.net
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Old August 24th, 2013, 03:34 AM   #12
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If great depression never would have taken place,there would probably not have been a second world war.
The world would have been a better place, the question is if the world today would be as technologically advanced today.
Moscow would for example have this magnificent but monstrous construction in its skyline,had the Soviet Union not been attacked by Nazi Germany.
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Old August 24th, 2013, 10:44 AM   #13
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So do you think that art-deco would have last for a longer time, or it would have disappeared faster?
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Old August 24th, 2013, 03:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the spliff fairy View Post
Likewise London's Selfridges department store was never completed due to the crash. The tower above the present 1929 building never materialised:



www.essential-architecture.com


today:



http://london-sightseeing.net
didn't know that selfridges london have this kind of plan ><"

they should just build it
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