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New York 1960: Architecture and Urbanism Between the Second World War and the Bicentennial Hardcover – February 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-1885254023 ISBN-10: 1885254024 Edition: First

Price: $24.97
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Hardcover, February 1, 1995
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1376 pages
  • Publisher: Monacelli; First edition (February 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1885254024
  • ISBN-13: 978-1885254023
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.9 x 12.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,431,136 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

The massive New York 1960 is the third installment in a series covering the last 100 years of New York architectural history. Weighing almost eight pounds, it's a seemingly endless parade of images and information woven together into a fascinating tale of the changing urban landscape. The combination of political, social, and artistic commentary of the day culled largely from primary sources, along with sharp period photographs, provide a time machine's experience of the city that was. The historic tour begins with lower Manhattan and progresses uptown one neighborhood (and practically one building) at a time. With stories of buildings that were never built, teams of architects fired from projects, and the influence of the mayor's office, this chronicle offers amazing insight into how decisions were made and their impact on the city's life. The implementation of parking meters, the zoning laws to support retail on 5th Avenue, the movement of artists from Greenwich Village to what used to be Coenties Slip to industrial SoHo are a number of examples. For anyone interested in architecture, urban issues, or the history of New York City, New York 1960 should not be missed. --J.P. Cohen --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Documenting New York City's transformation from manageable metropolis into sprawling megalopolis, this magnificent, panoramic volume sweeps from early 1940s' New York, a world capital of culture, sophistication and commerce, to the mid-'70s, when crime and near economic collapse had tarnished its image. Stunningly illustrated with some 1500 duotone period photographs, the absorbing text focuses on the 1960s and is organized geographically, from the metamorphosis of stretches of midtown into corporate America's headquarters to development projects in Harlem, the construction of Lincoln Center and the United Nations complex and efforts to preserve neighborhoods ranging from Greenwich Village to those in the other boroughs. We also get commentaries by Philip Johnson, Jane Jacobs, Lewis Mumford, Robert Moses, Ada Louise Huxtable and others reflecting on battles over architectural styles and urban-planning philosophies. An unprecedented record of New York City's dynamism and continual adaptation, this study also looks at portrayals of the city in films, paintings, sculpture, music, plays.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By saskatoonguy on April 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
First of all, the book is just too darned big to handle comfortably. With over 1300 pages, I don't know whether to congratulate the authors on their thoroughness or criticize them for having no sense of self-restraint. This tome could have been divided into three separate volumes, and each would have been a substantial book in itself.
The epic length of the book allows the authors to go into incredible detail. The book is divided into chapters primarily by neighborhood. There are also chapters devoted to the topic of interior decoration, the 1964-65 World's Fair, "Beyond the Boroughs," "Historic Preservation," and "New York and the Arts." The numerous b&w photographs, averaging more than one per page, are stunning.
A chapter titled "Death by Development" walks the reader through the ideology of the era that led to public housing monstrosities, as well as middle-class housing of dubious aesthetic and structural integrity. This same chapter discusses proposals for air-raid shelters, some of which would have had expanses large enough to hold a nine-story building, as well as the 1945 incident in which a US military plane crashed into the Empire State Building. The same chapter shifts to transportation issues, and presents a 1951 proposal for an unconventional "people mover" under 42nd Street, and the beginning of construction in 1972 on the Second Avenue subway (which perhaps, will open sometime in my lifetime). All this in just one of seventeen chapters - gives you some idea of the expansiveness and thoroughness of this book.
Many readers will take special note of the eight pages devoted to the World Trade Center. This book was written before "9-11," and the book's coverage of the WTC is haunting, to say the least.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Shannon Deason on January 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I guess this book had to be written, it is a series afterall, but it is digusting what kind of buildings were built. Having said that, this is an excellent book and it is scholarly and the images are first rate, but lord these are for the most part terrible buildings that just about ruined the iconic Manhattan skyline, I guess at least we should be glad Jackie O, saved Pan Am from tearing down the breathtaking Grand Central Station, unfortunitely the same cannot be said for Penn Station, I think what you come away with from this book is, greedy developers, awful Mayors and the sinsister Robert Moses, it's a wonder the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building were not torn down.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By chauncy on September 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Composed around America's end in WWII and the nadir of New York's financial and social stability, New York 1960 gives so much detail into the social and architectural issues that plagued the "City of Recycling" . Whether New York made new land or basically developers leveling entire swathes of history, quick money was out to made and quality f buildings suffered and so did quality of life . Many commissions and groups came along to help preserve history and keep neighborhoods together and thankfully New York's issues and solutions helped other cities overcome future city planning dilemmas.City planning came into full swing here and the modern architects desperately tried to created "machines for living" in aliens spaces that hindered , intimated , and discouraged human use and interactions. Glass and concrete slabs rose over entire blocks, something never seen anywhere in the world, and immense plazas filled with kitschy art was also another shocker to many. This book can serve as the Bible of city planning of do's and dont's . The pictures are incredible and high quality , many of the buildings are really beautiful.sleek and refreshing against the jagged and zig-zag skyscrapers of New York and honestly add even more character to the Big Apple. Unfortunately the demolition of the Singer Building, the Knabe Building, Radio Row, the Wolfe Building, Pennsylvania Station and the Times Building represent a dark time in terms of how Americans viewed their history and preservation of high quality works of art. Buy this humongous 8 lb book it is so inspiring.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By on May 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A great book for the coffee table or the library. Concise desriptions of built projects as well as conceptual ideas for the City of New York. Focuses on individual neighborhoods as well as the city as a whole.
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