The Skyscraper Museum
Book Talks 2014
The Skyscraper Museum

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.

Jason Barr Book Talk

Building the Skyline
The Birth and Growth of Manhattan's Skyscrapers

Oxford University Press, 2016

The Manhattan skyline is one of the great wonders of the modern world. But how and why did it form? Jason M. Barr’s book Building the Skyline explores the economic forces that shaped our high-rise history. Barr chronicles the economic history of the Manhattan skyline from colonial times through the rise of the skyscraper, both downtown and in midtown, along the way debunking some popular misconceptions such as “geology is geography” on the determinative role of bedrock. Investigating of the impetus for the extraordinary levels of skyscraper construction during the Roaring Twenties, the book argues that the boom was largely a rational response to the rapidly expanding economic growth of the nation and city.​ The final chapter investigates the value of Manhattan Island and the relationship between skyscrapers and land prices.​

​Jason M. Barr​​ is an associate professor of economics at Rutgers University – Newark whose areas of interests include urban economics, New York City history, and computational economics. He has taught economics at Rutgers, Dartmouth College, and Columbia University.

Visit our Programs Archive Video Index!

The exhibitions and programs of The Skyscraper Museum are supported by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency.