Revolution Essay

Topics: New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles Pages: 1 (323 words) Published: November 7, 2013

Early skyscrapers emerged in the US as a result of economic growth, the financial organization of American businesses, and the intensive use of land. New York was one of the centers of early skyscraper construction, New York real estate was broken up into many small areas of land, with few large sites. During the first half of the 19th century it became the national center of American finance, and the banks in the financial district of Wall Street competed fiercely with English institutions for international dominance. The Great Fire of 1835 destroyed most of the old financial buildings, and in their place a wide variety of new buildings were erected and demolished quickly during the 1840s and 1850s; traveler Philip Hone suggested that the entire city was being rebuilt every decade. Most buildings adopted the Italian Renaissance inspired palazzo-style of architecture popular amongst their rivals in England, and rose no more than five or six stories. New York did not have any restrictions on the height of buildings but in practice low-rise buildings were the norm, at least until 1865, with the tallest buildings being the city's churches. New York's population tripled between 1840 and 1870, and property values soared, increasing by more than 90 percent between 1860 and 1875. Further west, the city of Chicago became the other major site in the development of early skyscrapers. In contrast to New York, Chicago emerged as a major metropolis only in the mid-19th century, growing from a village of around fifty inhabitants in 1830, to a city of 30,000 in 1850 and nearly 300,000 by 1870. Chicago became the railroad hub for the American West and the primary trading city for the emerging territories, famous for its commercial culture. It saw itself as different from the cities on the east coast and was immensely proud of its status as a growing, vibrant center. This was a great innovation because we could now build less buildings that are taller instead of a lot of...
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