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Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago Paperback – November 1, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The central theme of this well researched history of architecture, urban planning, and real estate is that in the design of office buildings, form, space, and money are all intricately bound up with one another. This convincing hypothesis is presented in the form of a comprehensive and comparative look at the skylines of two major turn-of-the-century cities, which are also two of the most illustrious American metropolises: Chicago and New York. What differentiates this book from other histories of the skyscraper is its emphasis on economics as the chief factor in the determination of form, as well as on municipal codes, land-use patterns, and zoning. It is also an urban history and an agile investigation into the forces that shaped the tallest buildings in America. It is fascinating to learn, for instance, how new formal solutions for office buildings emerged, exactly how the height of the Empire State Building was determined, and how economics contributed to the vast majority of these and other design decisions.

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Seldom does a title summarize so tersely and completely the contents of a book as does that of Carol Willis's brisk, lucid investigation into the foreces that shaped the prodigious tall buildings of America's two major turn-of-the-century metropolises. Martin Filler, New York Times Book Review

A fascinating document for banker, developer, and architect alike. Matthew Barnett Howland, World Architecture
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press (November 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568980442
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568980447
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Charles C. Almonte on June 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is great and well written...This book gives a comprehensive look at the developement of the skyscraper between the two major cities that shaped the world of high-rise architecture. Each chapter provides a detailed look of the different factors and events that led to the design of skyscrapers that gave the amazing profile of Chicago and New York as we see it today.
This book is a must for architects, architectural historians, preservationist!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Golds on September 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
Perhaps a little to dry for someone not totally engaged in the subject matter, but overall this book is extremely interesting and full of helpfull information to anyone interested in urban design, the cities of New York or Chicago, or architecture.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
its okay. nice premise, easy to read and understand. a bit lengthy for the point being shown, which is saying a lot as its quite short.
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