With the current boom reaching new levels on and around the skyline, I've been thinking a lot about our classics lately, and what it must have been like during some of the earlier boom eras that saw the skyline changing a lot. The buildings that we know and love today weren't always standing obviously, and there was a time when they too were looked at with some excitement for what was to come.
Of course, it's a lot easier for us now to take in all of these sites without ever having to see them in person. But still, a lot of us visit these sites regularly to document the rise of construction. In the process, though it may not be the intent, we are capturing a moment in time. Some of the buildings that are going up now will some day be looked at as much a part of the city as the subway or the Brooklyn Bridge. Or the Chrysler Building. (I'm thinking 53W53 and 111 West 57th for sure, our modern Woolworth and Chrysler).
With that in mind, I finally picked up a copy of "The Chrysler Building, Creating a NY Icon, Day By Day" (David Stravitz).
I have to say, this book is a treasure for skyscraper fans. Not being able to travel back in time, the photos captured in this book are amazing because they do take you back to that era. Things were different then, but in many ways the same. One thing that jumped out at me was how similar the process seemed to be with what we are witnessing now at nearby One Vanderbilt, which will tower over the Chrysler. Some people may see the city as overbuilt, but for skyscraper fans, it will never be enough. We are lucky to still be able to witness such feats as new and iconic skyscrapers still rise from the earth.
Anyway, a few of the photos I grabbed from inside...
9. Look at that lineup!
13. The very tip of the spire...
And they're still building on East 42nd Street...