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8 Great Books for Skyscraper Enthusiasts

Favorite Books for Anyone Who Loves Tall Buildings


Ever since the late 1800s when the first skyscrapers appeared, tall buildings have inspired awe and fascination. The beautiful books listed here pay tribute to every variety of skyscraper, including Classical, Art Deco, Expressionist, Modernist, and Postmodernist, and to the architects who conceived them.

1. Chicago Skyscrapers: Postcard History Series

The Home Insurance Building in Chicago is often considered to be the first skyscraper built (1885). In this little book, preservationist Leslie Hudson has gathered together vintage postcards to help us explore Chicago's skyscraper era.
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2. Skyscrapers: The New Millennium

Skyscrapers: The New Millennium
A good roundup of new skyscrapers, with information about developments in form, character, and technology. By John Zukowsky and Martha Thorne. Also see:
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3. Skyscrapers: Masterpieces of Architecture

Detailed photography of the world's great skyscrapers along with the history of each skyscraper and information about the architects involved in their construction. By Charles Sheppard. Also see:
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4. Manhattan Skyscrapers

Eric Peter Nash and photographer Norman McGrath present a hundred years of New York's most interesting and important tall buildings. Seventy-five skyscrapers are photographed and presented with a history of each building and quotes from the architects. Also see:
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5. Skyscrapers: A Social History of the Very Tall Building in America

This book reminds us that architecture does not stand apart from society. The skyscraper, in particular, is the type of building that not only inspires architects, but also the people who build them, live and work in them, film them, and the daredevils who climb them.
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6. Skyscrapers and the Men Who Build Them

William Aiken Starrett's 1928 publication is available to read for free online, but HardPress Publishing has reproduced the work as a testament to its historic timelessness.
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7. Rise of the New York Skyscraper, 1865-1913

A fascinating look at the history of New York's tall buildings and the building boom in Manhattan in the late 1800s and early 1900s. 206 photographs. By Carl W. Condit and Sarah Bradford Landau. Also see:
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8. Skyscraper Rivals

Subtitled, "The AIG Building & the Architecture of Wall Street," this hardcover looks at the four major towers in New York City's financial district and examines the financial, geographical, and historical forces that brought these buildings into being. Also see:
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What Is a Skyscraper?

The answer isn't as easy as you might think!
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