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Building the Empire State Paperback – April 17, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A handsome volume, annotated intelligently and accompanied by two excellent essays and original site photographs...instructive, interesting and occasionally entertaining. -- Times Higher Education Supplement

A remarkable document. -- Casabella, Nicholas Adams

Filled with marvelous arcana....but it also concerns itself with serious controversies... -- New York Times

Packaged in a handsome volume, annotated intelligently and accompanied by two excellent essays and original site photographs...Instructive, interesting... -- Times Higher Education Supplement, Karl Sabbagh

These notes combine the dry facts with sensitive observations....A welcome contribution to the history of high-rise building technology. -- APT Bulletin: The Journal of Preservation Technology, Anat Geva, Ph.D.

About the Author

Carol Willis, an architectural historian and founder of The Skyscraper Museum.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (April 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393732312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393732313
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is actually three stories in one. First, the discovery of a personal notebook documenting the construction of the ESB by an involved, but unknown author. Meticuously typed, with photographs, the manuscript was obviously a labor of love. Second, the written manuscript provides details of the construction which are engrossing, and the notebook's photos show the processes of constuction - not what was done but how they did it. Finally, the first 40+ pages provide a great summary of the ESB's history for the uninitiated. One of the most intriguing aspects of this book are the full-page photocopies of the notebook's actual pages, which only add to the historical sense and mystique of the manuscript. A great gift for the "construction-type" in your life, which is how I got mine...after numerous hints.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Based on actual records the construction company kept during the building process, this book gives an insight of how such an astonishing effort was completed. The whole process of buying the spot, finding an architect(!), tearing down the existing building, design, and building the Empire State took only 22 months. It's an outstanding example of how the management of a very complex project can be done and a must read for everyone in the software industry ;-). Fun to browse through yourself, a sure hit as a gift to anyone interested or working in architecture, construction or project management.
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Format: Paperback
This treasure trove of information about the construction of the Empire State Building will open a reader's eyes to what great buildings can be created in a short amount of time, once people make up their minds to do so.

The building went up in a mere 410 days, part of a rivalry to claim the title of the city's tallest building, with construction begun March 17, 1930 and completed on May 1, 1931. Luckily, some unknown person or persons kept track of tons of the construction's details, from details about the types of hoist buckets to limestone quality to elevator specs and hundreds of details more. The book contains photocopies of the grid sheet notebooks used to keep track of information, photos of the building as it was under construction and sketches of drawing plans. This is a gem of a historical work, recovered history that any architecture or New York City history buff will enjoy. The pages are a joy to read, even if you don't care to know about that much about construction detail. It's just fun to see what went into the building.

Because of the destruction of the World Trade Center, the Empire State has returned to claiming the title of the city's tallest building (1,453 ft). But more important than just its height, the art Deco building stands as a classic part of New York History, part of its culture and lore.
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By The Joker on January 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent book with a ton of info about the bldg and how it was built, documents, etc.. very good resource
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Format: Paperback
Almost any engineer or architect, or anyone involved in construction, would find this a fascinating book. The time schedule for building the Empire State has never been equaled even with today's technology.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a reprint of the typed notes of the progress of building the Empire State Building. It brings to life the excitement of the construction process of the world's tallest building which was constructed in a record amount of time which remains unsurpassed to this day. The amount of orgnanization which was required to accomplish this feat is truly daunting and this book takes the reader into it. I highly recommnend this for both architects and those involved in the construction trades.
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The book is a treasure of historical collections from the construction of the Empire State Building, including actual daily reports, observations and techniques. If you appreciate high rise construction, this is a must read. Awe inpsiring what they were able to accompish 80 years ago.
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