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The Empire State Building (Building America) (Building America (Benchmark)) Library Binding – September, 1997

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-8?A look at the famous skyscraper from conception through construction to renovation, with interesting sidebars on such trivia as its place in films. The structure was an engineering and construction feat as revealed in this well-written and well-researched historical account. Original black-and-white photographs of the building as it was built and full-color photographs of it today enhance the text. A valuable source for information on this American landmark.?Pamela K. Bomboy, Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Margaret Bourke-White and Lewis W. Hine were both imaginative, disciplined, and successful photographers in an era when the medium was finely positioned as an art form. Both these volumes also give visual evidence of their recording of time and place through personal courage. Bourke-White is famous for her daring vantage points, confirmed by the shot of her perched on one of the aluminum eagles high atop the Chrysler Building in New York as she photographed its streamlined details. Hine likewise positioned himself and his camera above New York as the Empire State Building was bolted together. The collection of Bourke-White's work is well produced, with deep tones and fine clarity, reminding those who admire her great gifts of composition and darkroom skill of her significance in the history of photography. Newcomers to her travels and her work will quickly discover a photojournalist and industrial artist whose professional journey left a stunning record of the century. Still fresh and visually exciting after 70 years, Hine's images capture the glory of the Empire State Building and the aerial gymnastics of the steelworkers who built its skeleton. Though focusing on one building may seem confining, Hine's array of photographs from steel framing to completion; Freddy Langer's essay about the photographer, the skyscraper, and New York in the 1930s; and a chronology of the Empire State Building's "life" in the city make for a useful and pleasing volume. Both books are recommended.?David Bryant, New Canaan P.L., CT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1090L (What's this?)
  • Series: Building America (Benchmark)
  • Library Binding: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Blackbirch Press (September 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567111165
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567111163
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,213,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "goldcoastreviews" on August 15, 2000
Format: Library Binding
I like architecture. I like buildings. And I adore The Empire State building in New York City. (as if I need to mention location) This is an informative book by Mr. Doherty and others giving us a detailed view into dreams coming to life of the then tallest building in the world. How it was built, human drama behind the scenes, how fast it went up---4 stories a week, the limestone that was only brought in from Indiana, and other fascinating information.
With a glossary, index, photo's of helmeted men in 1930---daringly straddling beams above a floor of cement doom, one can relive visiting this icon or enjoy true anticipation of using one of its 73 elevators to reach for the heavens on an open aired viewing floor where everything from weddings to arm wrestling competitions take place.
Did you know they began using outdoor lights due to an aircraft bomber, lost in the fog and crashing into her 79th floor back in the 40's? And now, one can see it adorned with special lit colors--Blue was done as a tribute to Frank Sinatra, Blue & White for Churchill, and Gold for the Pope.
Yes, the building that may now not be the tallest, will forever hold a special place in our hearts. As seen in many movies, from King Kong to Sleepless In Seattle, we can step back and wonder who is behind those 6,000 windows ( you might spot Donald Trump, he owns part of her now ) and wistfully sigh at the romance of it all.
other reading suggestions: "The Majesty of the French Quarter" by Kerri McCaffety
--CDS--
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on March 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
The sixty-five photographs in this book are probably the best of the thousand Lewis Hine took during the construction of the Empire State Building. Several are now the standard image used to depict industrial output during the Depression and rightly so. Hine concentrates on the workers rather than the actual building and you can see just how precarious some of their activity is. Years before hardhats and workman's comp hundreds of seasoned craftsmen managed to erect a building nearly a quarter of a mile high in 410 days and weighing 365,000 tons.
Author Freddy Langer writes an interesting short essay about Lewis Hine explaining how he became interested in using photography to expose the exploitation of child labor during the early years of the last century. These photos were used in his book 'Kids at Work' (ISBN 0395797268). His interest in photographing the workplace got him the commission to record the building of the Empire State and some of these images also appeared in his 1932 book 'Men at Work' (ISBN 0486234754).
It is a shame that the book does not give more explanation to what the craftsmen are doing in the photos. A book that does have photos (though not by Hine) and detailed captions is 'Building the Empire State' (ISBN 0393730301) edited by Carol White, it reproduces seventy-seven pages of typewritten description, some of it quite technical, that someone at Starrett Brothers, the builders, produced as a record of the construction.
The Empire State was in competition with the Chrysler Building and a book by David Stravitz, 'The Chrysler Building' (ISBN 1568983549) is a week-by-week photographic construction record of Van Allen's Art Deco masterpiece with detailed captions to the pictures. Strangely many of Hine's photos clearly show the Chrysler Building in the background.
All three books celebrate the building of two stunning New York skyscrapers.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is wonderful. The pictures bring back a time in our country's history that was hopeful and expansive - a nice antidote to today's closed attitudes. Anyone with an interest in American history and the story of one our momumental achievements should have this book. P.S. Children love this book too -- my two sons take it off the shelf almost every night!
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