Please Explain: Skyscrapers

Friday, April 20, 2007

Carol Willis, an architectural historian and the Founder and Director of the Skyscraper Museum, and Bill Baker, a partner in charge of Structural and Civil Engineering with the firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill, answer your questions about how skyscrapers are built, and how and why they keep getting taller. Bill Baker and his colleagues are the designers of what will soon be the world's tallest building, the Burj Dubai.

Diagrams Comparing Some of the World's Skyscrapers

Carol Willis's Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago is available for purchase at

Comments [7]

Rick from Austin, TX

As a former St. Louisian, may I suggest that the Wainwright Building in downtown STL (1890-91) has a claim to being the nation's first skyscraper?

Apr. 20 2007 04:10 PM
diana from Morningside Heights

In Hong Kong they do a fabulous laser show, it's like the buildings on the two sides of the harbor sing and dance with onea another using beams of light. People stand along the Kowloon waterfront and watch.

Could Manhattan dance like that with the skyscrapers in Jersy cities.

Apr. 20 2007 01:57 PM
NYCPaul from Manhattan

How much can a large building effect radio and TV signals in the area?

Apr. 20 2007 01:54 PM
Robert Stinson from Manhattan

I believe the tallest building in Europe is Tour Montparnasse at about 55 floors. Yes? Why haven't the Europeans ever entered into the race for the tallest building? Is there a difference in Archtectural thinking in Europe?

Apr. 20 2007 01:46 PM
Bill from Upper West Side

I recently visited Chicago and was struck by how different the presentation of that city's buildings is to New York. Seems like Chicago has a different approach. Are there any key differences between the history and philosophy of Chicago and NY skyscrapers?

Apr. 20 2007 01:33 PM
Danielle from Queens

I also have heard similar reports that the Twin Towers shouldn't have collapsed the way they did and would like to hear from your guest.

Apr. 20 2007 10:11 AM
Nic from Westchester

A friend, who has serious questions about the official explanations surrounding the 9-11 attacks, says he has read skeptics who assert the Trade Towers could not have collapsed as they did, given the locations of the planes' impacts and the heat and stress they produced.

A response for your guests?

Many thanks.

Apr. 20 2007 04:55 AM

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