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.
Whither Wall Street
- Carol Willis, Introduction [bio]
- Elizabeth Berger [bio]
- Rob Rogers[bio]
- Kent Swig[bio]
- Alex Washburn[bio]
- Panel Discussion
DIRECTOR, THE SKYSCRAPER MUSEUM
Carol Willis is the founder, director, and curator of The Skyscraper Museum. An architectural and urban historian, she has researched, taught, and written about the history of American city building. She is the author of Form Follows Finance: Skyscrapers and Skylines in New York and Chicago (Princeton Architectural Press, 1995), which received an AIA book award and was named "Best Book on North American Urbanism, 1995" by the Urban History Association. She has written introductions to several monographs and collections and has appeared in numerous television documentaries and radio broadcasts.
Ms. Willis is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Urban Studies
at Columbia University where since 1989 she has taught
in the program The Shape of Two Cities: New York and
Paris in The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and
[watch it now]
PRESIDENT, DOWNTOWN ALLIANCE
Elizabeth H. Berger joined the Alliance for Downtown New York--the city's largest Business Improvement District--as President in November 2007. Ms. Berger has more than thirty years of experience with state, federal and local government. An innovator in the field, she established the non-legal government relations practices at the Law Offices of Claudia Wagner; LeBoeuf, Lamb Greene & MacRae; and Lord Day & Lord Barrett Smith. She created the Department of Government and External Affairs at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and was a member of the Koch Administration from 1982 through 1989, including 5 years as Assistant Mayoral Representative to the New York City Council.
She is an active board director of several New York City
non-profit cultural and civic groups, including the Municipal
Art Society, The Battery Conservancy, Second Stage
Theater, the New York Building Congress, Film Forum
and the American Museum of Natural History Planetarium
Authority, and a mayoral appointee to the Governors Island
Preservation and Education Corporation.
[watch it now]
PRINCIPAL, ROGERS MARVEL ARCHITECTS; STREETSCAPE DESIGNER OF WALL STREET FOR DCP
Along with Jonathan Marvel, Rob Rogers founded Rogers Marvel Architects in 1992. Based on their work at Battery Park City, the NYC Department of City Planning, the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation asked them to design security and streetscape enhancements for the New York Financial District, including the New York Stock Exchange.
Custom-designed components for the district include a fountain in front of the Stock Exchange, "NOGO" sculptural barriers, and a shallow-foundation turntable barrier. These elements service street-level amenities such as sidewalk cafes while also functioning as high-tech security devices.
Other RMA projects include the renovation of the
Landmarked McCarren Pool, in Brooklyn, the Studio
Museum in Harlem, the reconstruction of Pratt Institute's
School of Architecture and the Dartmouth College Arts
[watch it now]
PRESIDENT, SWIG EQUITIES, LLC
As President of Swig Equities, LLC, an investment and development firm, Mr. Swig has seen the company through numerous acquisitions and development projects in New York City and California. In the past decade, the company has purchased and developed a major portfolio of properties in the Financial District, including 44 and 48 Wall Street.
Mr. Swig is also an owner and Co-Chairman of Terra Holdings, LLC, which owns and operates residential real estate service firms including Brown Harris Stevens, one of the oldest and largest residential real estate service providers in New York City. He is also the owner and President of Helmsley Spear, LLC, originally founded in 1866, a leader in commercial real estate focusing on third party office and retail leasing, asset and property management, and investment sales.
In addition, Mr. Swig is active in a number of professional,
civic and philanthropic organizations including serving on
the Board of Governors of the Association of Builders and
Owners of New York (ABO); the Board of Directors of the
Realty Foundation, the Downtown Alliance, Wall Street Rising
and Business Executives for National Security (BENS).
[watch it now]
CHIEF URBAN DESIGNER, NYC DCP
Alexandros E. Washburn, AIA is the Chief Urban Designer of the City of New York, Department of City Planning. An architect who has worked both in the private and public sector, he served as Environment and Public Works Advisor to US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then as President of the Pennsylvania Station Redevelopment Corporation, and then partner of W Architecture and Landscape Architecture LLC.
From individual buildings to the most complex infrastructure
projects, he judges success in urban design from the point of
view of the pedestrian. In his daily work, he tries to achieve
the "quantity of Robert Moses with the quality of Jane
Jacobs." And for this missing link--between the human-scale and the mega-project--he turns to another great New
Yorker, Fredrick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park, for
inspiration. He sees the integration of urbanity and ecology as
the next great wave in city-building. Mr. Washburn is currently
writing a book, The Nature of Urban Design.
[watch it now]