Early 1900s construction boom

When there are no accountants involved …

The Singer Building (1908-1967). A painting in the lobby of the Liberty Tower, today, showing the Singer Building as it might have appeared in its early days (including zeppelins). (Courtesy of Theo Mackey Pollack.)

The first decade of the 20th century was a sparkling time in American construction. Nowhere was its spirit more intense than in downtown New York, an aging colonial seaport that was fast becoming a center of industrial capitalism.

Here, among winding narrow blocks, a Whitmanesque neighborhood of brick row houses and Protestant steeples was rapidly evolving into a concrete labyrinth of elegant white towers and steam-damp canyons. New York, with each new spire, signaled that America would no longer defer to Europe.

Now, the future was being charted on this side of the Atlantic.

Read on …

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