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Miami Includes Broward and Palm Beach Counties » Development News



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Old October 15th, 2007, 10:26 PM   #1
theEmbarcadero
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Why no American skyscrapers built in the 1950s?

Greetings everyone,

I, like many others, grew up reading the World Almanac and Book of Facts. I would always turn to the section of tall buildings in American cities...and see where Miami ranked.

I still do this, even though there are so many great sources of information available to us, now that we have the internet.

But in my casual perusing of the almanac recently, something dawned on me that I had never noticed before.

There are still a substantial number of tall buildings in American cities built during the 1930s ( the depression ) and almost none built in the 40s, 50s, 60s
and then things picked up again in the 1970s ( WTC, Sear Tower, John Hancock, etc) and then more in the 80s, 90s. and now in the 2000s.

I can understand the lack of skycrapers being built in the 1940s, due to WWII, and perhaps I can understand the 60s too...with Vietnam.

But I can't figure out why there are almost NO substantial American skyscrapers built in the 1950s.....a decade of peace and prosperity !!!

Forgive me if this has been covered before, but I am genuinely interest in any thoughts, opinions, or links to any material on this subject. Again, it is something that I have never heard mention, or discussed. DOes anyone else think it is strange to look at a list of a city like Chicago, or New York and see that all it's tall buildings were built in the 1920s/30 and then a gap to the 70s to today?

Blessings !

The Embarcadero

Last edited by theEmbarcadero; October 15th, 2007 at 10:29 PM. Reason: typos
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Old October 15th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #2
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I'm going to go into much detail beacause I really can't but it was due to mostly wars (construction materials and manpower were being used for war purposes), the construction of highways in the 50's that allowed suburban communities, and faster cars that could travel for longer ditances to those suburban areas.

At least that is my understanding of the topic.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 10:45 PM   #3
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Several midrises (10-20 stories) were built around Miami in the 1950's. Especially on the beach. The tallest that was built around here in the 1950's was the 100 S Biscayne building which was built in 1958 and is set to come down to make way for One Bayfront Plaza.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 10:45 PM   #4
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I think that is when sprawl happened. Everyone wanted their own home not one in a big building. Levittown and then office parks near the new homes. The manpower and money went more towards homes not skyscrapers.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 09:47 AM   #5
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My first thought was that it was still too soon after World War II for anybody to think about looking up again. The US economy was still recovering from the war, where as here in Miami, I believe our worn torn economy creating a weak dollar against a strong Euro is what created the "condo boom."
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