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The Skyscraper Museum is devoted to the study of high-rise building, past, present, and future. The Museum explores tall buildings as objects of design, products of technology, sites of construction, investments in real estate, and places of work and residence. This site will look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.


Less than a decade ago, America's first "green" skyscraper, the Conde Nast Building at 4 Times Square, was viewed as a visionary experiment and economic gamble. Today, developers and designers pursue a LEED rating (for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) of Silver, Gold, or Platinum as both a statement of values and a marketing feature.

How did the green towers take root in Manhattan, the most expensive of real estate markets, where buildings can cost $500 million to a billion dollars and innovation is rare because it suggests risk? Of critical importance were a few pioneers in the most instrumental professions: architects and developers. While the inspiration and experience of the architect is key, it cannot succeed without the commitment of an owner prepared to assume the cost.

In New York City, the industry leader was The Durst Organization, which developed 4 Times Square and numerous smaller projects along green principles and is currently developing the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, the Helena apartments on W 57th St. At Tenth Avenue, and a 60-story, mid-block mixed-use tower on West 31st St, between Sixth and Seventh Avenues, all featured in this exhibition.

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