Now Even Taller

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New York Skyline (CJ Isherwood)

Judith Dupré, architectural historian and the author of the updated Skyscrapers: A History of the World's Most Extraordinary Buildings (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2014), and Richard Cook, founding partner of COOKFOX Architects whose projects include the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park and the Stephen Sondheim theater, talk about the latest in building extremely tall buildings.

EVENT: Judith Dupré and Rick Cook are joined by architect Adrian Smith to discuss "Supertall, Supergreen" tonight at 6pm at NYPL 


Richard Cook and Judith Dupré

Comments [26]

RC from Manhattan

The reason the skyscrapers in Tokyo make NY look medieval is not because of quantity but because of superior design and integration into the existing city landscape. Many of which were by Japanese architects who have deep understanding of the culture and aesthetics of people they were designing for. Your guest is missing the point that the quality of life in a crowded city is hardly vertical. 'New York is a skyscraper city so we should build more skyscrapers'?! That's a very simplistic and dangerous view held by someone who might be in a position to make decisions on our behalf,hope that's not the case.

Jan. 15 2014 01:08 PM
mgduke from nyc

Amazed to hear your guest praise the grotesquely deadened current skyline of lower Manhattan, the ruination of which is actually one of the strongest arguments for landmarking NYC skyline.

Lower Manhattan skyline was magnificent into the late 1950s, then was strangled, literally robbed of air, starting with erection of the bloated, banausic, soulless piles of 2 Broadway and the Chase Manhattan headquarters up Broad St.

Looking now from the water we are hit by a cluttered, boxy, depressing mausoleum of greedy overdevelopment, an overcrowded cemetery, undifferentiable masses bulking into each other, terrain of ghouls.

Jan. 15 2014 12:20 PM
Lee Gelber from Astoria

Ms Dupre's mention of St. Peter's Lutheran Church omits the important role of Pastor Juan Garcia Gensel and how he got Walter Wriston, Citibank's chairman at the time to build him that new church after the original St. Peter's on East 53rd Street occupied part of the land parcel where the former Citibank headquarters now stands. I think a discussion of skyscrapers would have been better served by having the director/founder of the Skyscraper Museum as a guest.

Jan. 15 2014 12:19 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

These super tall buildings create ever more pieds-a-terre for people who don't pay the day-to-day/annual consumption and other taxes that maintain New York infrastructure for all. I propose an expat tax for those who only make New York a part-time home in these monstrosities, for they take up a disproportionate volume of city services when things go wrong (hurricanes and the like).

Jan. 15 2014 11:53 AM
CC Bloom from NYCC


The towers were blandish by day and magical by night.
I realize people threw hate at the twin towers, but you just can't compare the hideous thing that went up in downtown now to the 2 towers that lit up the sky in downtown Manhattan.

Jan. 15 2014 11:52 AM
Tracey from Ridgewood NJ

You cannot discuss this topic without acknowledging the men and women who practice the art and science of STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING. It is a rare architect that can engineer his/her own low-rise building never mind skyscraper. It is about time to give structural engineers their due.

Jan. 15 2014 11:51 AM
thatgirl from manhattan

Eric from Park Slope - The building name's been changed so many times that I've taken to calling it the "New Freedom Maxi Tower."(tm)

Jan. 15 2014 11:49 AM

This woman just conflated the people who build skyscrapers with the people who sell them. Two different worlds. The builders could care less if the sellers can't sell because the buidling cast shadows on the park below. This woman is terrible.

Jan. 15 2014 11:47 AM

Oh please, people said the same stuff about the original WTC when it went up now everyone claims they loved it. I think some people just cannot stand change. I mean has there ever been a building built in NYC that wasn't declared ugly, hideous, an eyesore, the minute the plans were announced?

Jan. 15 2014 11:46 AM
David from nyc

Why this segment on where the 1% live ??
Big waste of time

Jan. 15 2014 11:45 AM
AA from NYC

A good follow up story for this segment is the uber-cray security going up in downtown Manhattan isolating the architecture from the human city dwellers it's meant to serve [in the name of patriotism and national security, of course] - Nice!

Jan. 15 2014 11:45 AM

St. Peter's Church under a skyscraper -- awful!!! Can't believe this woman just stuck up for it. Not good for either religion or building. ugh!

Jan. 15 2014 11:45 AM
Robert from NYC

Oh good now I know how ironing boards stand.

Jan. 15 2014 11:44 AM
Lars from Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn

When talking about the "green" credentials of skyscrapers, their effect on birds needs to be factored in. New York City is in the center of a major migratory flyway, and thousands of birds die crashing into mirror-like facades of modern buildings.

Jan. 15 2014 11:42 AM
Jeff from New York

Good conversation, but listen to it from the perspective of its phallic implications. Absolutely priceless.

Jan. 15 2014 11:42 AM
eric from park slope

do we really need to refer to One World Trade as "the freedom tower?"

Jan. 15 2014 11:35 AM
Hillary from Brooklyn

Can you ask your guest how thin the spire gets at the top of the Chrysler building? When I look up at it I always wonder. It's so hard to tell when it's so high up - I have no idea if it's a foot wide or as narrow as a pen!

Jan. 15 2014 11:34 AM
Robert from NYC

Well my favorite and will always be it the now ignored Empire State Building. You can't take that away from me. (Unless they throw it down!)

Jan. 15 2014 11:34 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Isn't the equivalency 10 feet/storey? Then it is a simple matter of division.

Jan. 15 2014 11:33 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

To Robert

It's being done in Singapore right now. I'm not making this stuff up. They have no land so they have no choice. They are even developing vertical farms. Everything is going up, vertically speaking. Horizontal suburbia will disappear soon enough.

Jan. 15 2014 11:33 AM
Robert from NYC

Hey jgarbuz stop giving them ideas. LOL What a horror, to think of it becoming that way scares the ---t out of me.

Jan. 15 2014 11:28 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

By the middle of the century, most people on the planet will be living in super-skyscrapers that will be entirely self-contained vertical towns. Those super-scrapers will contain everything within, including police stations, hospitals, shopping malls, parks, offices, small factories, and so on, all contained within inside massive and extremely tall super-buildings. And each will have its own zip code as well. They will be vertical towns of 3000 to 30,000 inhabitants.

Jan. 15 2014 11:11 AM
tom from astoria

I just spent a morning in downtown Brooklyn and saw some very sad sights: late 1800's buildings being torn down piece by piece along side disproportionately high glass and steel ugly money-makers-- very tall sky scrapers with NO CHARACTER, NO CRAFTSMANSHIP. Hidden behind barriers, you can glimpse beautiful dark wood interiors, deep window frames all trimmed by real craftsmen using rich materials . Then, in Manhattan I saw four story brownstones boarded up and ready to be torn down…new construction is all around us, and ANY ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIAN KNOWS IT IS A LOSS OF HISTORY FOR OUR CITY. This is a period of great destruction for the architectural heritage of our city. Who cares if we compete with ugly Asian towers?

Jan. 15 2014 11:04 AM from NYC

I don't have an issue with very tall skyscrapers, but I take issue with unattractive buildings - be they tall or short.
The one going up by central park south is not an attractive building.
The one replacing the magnificent Twin Towers is truly homely looking.
Why oh why did this country give in to fear and allow that tower to go up, all on its lonesome and bland looking.

Jan. 15 2014 10:50 AM

Q: what is the lasting effect of 9-11 on the creation and oppostion of new tall buildings?

Jan. 15 2014 10:40 AM
George from Brooklyn

Most of the supertall skyscrapers are being built in Asia and the Middle East. Will we ever see a supertall building like the Burj Khalifa in the US?

Jan. 15 2014 09:34 AM

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