The Empire State Building: The Making of a Landmark [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Empire State Building is the landmark book on one of the world’s most notable landmarks. Since its publication in 1995, John Tauranac’s book, focused on the inception and construction of the building, has stood as the most comprehensive account of the structure. Moreover, it is far more than a work in architectural history; Tauranac tells a larger story of the politics of urban development in and through the interwar years. In a new epilogue to the Cornell edition, Tauranac highlights the continuing resonance...

See more details below
The Empire State Building: The Making of a Landmark

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.96
BN.com price
(Save 35%)$19.95 List Price

Overview

The Empire State Building is the landmark book on one of the world’s most notable landmarks. Since its publication in 1995, John Tauranac’s book, focused on the inception and construction of the building, has stood as the most comprehensive account of the structure. Moreover, it is far more than a work in architectural history; Tauranac tells a larger story of the politics of urban development in and through the interwar years. In a new epilogue to the Cornell edition, Tauranac highlights the continuing resonance and influence of the Empire State Building in the rapidly changing post-9/11 cityscape.

For the millions who throng annually to this great architectural wonder, the Empire State Building not only epitomizes the skyscraper, it defines New York--just as its original architect and promoters intended. Tauranac shows how the Empire State Building emerged from the culture and politics of New York in the 1920s, and provides the first full-scale history of it. Photos.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New Yorker
"Although the Empire State Building is no longer the tallest building in the world (or even in New York City), it remains mythical, iconic. This entrancing book is at once an appreciation of the structure as a practical work of art and an exploration of the building's role in the city and the world." --The New Yorker, January 8, 1996
The New York Chronicle
"John Tauranac's Essential New York and marvelous Elegant New York were overtures to this masterpiece of architectural and city history. Like a great novel, The Empire State Building: The Making of a Landmark is a complex and fascinating tale of men inspired by titanic visions of planning, financing, designing, and erecting this icon of New York." --The New York Chronicle, Spring, 1996
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When the 1250-foot Empire State Building opened in the Depression year of 1931, it was the world's tallest building. Today, though it ranks only fourth in the world, it retains a special place in the hearts of New Yorkers. Tauranac tells of the ``odd couple'' responsible for the ESB: millionaire John J. Raskob and his troubleshooter, Alfred E. Smith, former governor of New York. Both had come from humble backgrounds and were progressive Irish Catholic Democrats who were pro-business and anti-prohibition. We are shown the frantic ``race'' for height with the neighboring Chrysler Building, also under construction, and how the ESB finally won out. Among the facts cited here about the ESB: it sits on the site of the original Waldorf Astoria hotel; its mast was designed to moor dirigibles; it has appeared in about 90 movies, including King Kong; it was only 50% rented until WWII; in heavy fog in 1945, a B-25 bomber crashed into it, killing 14; it has its own post office; and, virtually unique in Manhattan, its 13th floor is appropriately numbered. Tauranac (Essential New York) has written an informative and exciting biography of Manhattan's most famous building. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Surprisingly enough, the Empire State Building, "the world's greatest skyscraper" and formerly the world's tallest until the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center and Chicago's Sear's Tower took that distinction away, has never before received book-length treatment. Tauranac is a native of New York City and an accomplished architectural historian. He is the author of two previous books on the city's architecture, Essential New York (LJ 10/1/79. o.p.) and Elegant New York (Abbeville, 1985. o.p.). He has researched his subject thoroughly, even in the famous Avery Library Archive. His book covers almost all aspects of the great monument, from planning and conception through design and construction to the unfolding of its subsequent reputation. Anyone interested in architecture will find this book entertaining and informative. It is a welcome addition to book collections on skyscrapers, New York City, and Art Deco architecture.-Peter Kaufman, Boston Architectural Ctr.
Booknews
The Empire State Building is still the heart of Manhattan, skyscraper of skyscrapers, and the favorite meeting place for Hollywood's eclectic romantic liaisons from King Kong to Sleepless in Seattle. Tauranac is faithful to the myth while surgically dissecting the design and construction of the famous building, showing how technological developments allowed the structure to rise in the midst of the Depression, and detailing its iconic emergence from the lowly dubbed "Empty State Building" due to low occupancy rates in the 1930s to its contemporary symbolic status appearing on everything from tee shirts to theater programs. Includes photographs. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Gilbert Taylor
A building that is a movie star unto itself deserves a writer of such contagious enthusiasm as Tauranac. Upon finishing his bio (or constructo-) graphy, one feels pulled again to gaze at the solitary tower and see behind its limestone facade the architects and contractors who built it in 18 short months, "and "in the teeth of the Depression. As much a statement of capitalist tenacity as rentable office space, the building's iconic status was immediate, and not only for being "the world's tallest." Its modern, art deco-y appearance was unique, its technology was the acme of the skyscraper age, and its splendid isolation in the middle of Manhattan riveted attention. How it became sited at the corner of 34th Street and 5th Avenue forms one of Tauranac's fascinating stories, to which he adds vignettes about the personalities of financiers and their promoter in chief, former governor and presidential also-ran Al Smith, followed by notable events, such as the amusingly futile attempts to dock dirigibles at the top or the tragic airplane collision with the 79th floor in 1945. A fascinating, self-propelling, and definitive history of the building.
From the Publisher

"Although the Empire State Building is no longer the tallest building in the world (or even in New York City), it remains mythical, iconic. This entrancing book is at once an appreciation of the structure as a practical work of art and an exploration of the building's role in the city and the world."—New Yorker

"Tauranac knows the architecture and buildings of New York as few do. He takes us through the story of the skyscraper as a form, the zoning that emerged to control the tall buildings, the real-estate boom of the twenties, the history of the site, the careers of John J. Raskob and Al Smith and the architects and builders who designed and erected the building, and the building's subsequent career."—New York Times Book Review

"When the 1250-foot Empire State Building opened in the Depression year of 1931, it was the world's tallest building. Today, it retains a special place in the heart of New Yorkers. Tauranac has written an informative and exciting biography of Manhattan’s most famous building."—Publishers Weekly

"A building that is a movie star unto itself deserves a writer of such contagious enthusiasm as Tauranac. This book is a fascinating, self-propelling, and definitive history of the building."—Booklist

"The Empire State Building is a methodically researched, richly informative account of the raising of the world's most famous skyscraper."—Chicago Tribune

"Tauranac combines fine scholarship with a storyteller's gift for entertainment. The Empire State Building is a basic reference on twentieth-century architecture and urban development."—Journal of American History

"Tauranac's book is a vivid characterization of the skyscraper as romantic phenomenon. As such it demonstrates unfailingly why the Empire State Building has yet to relinquish its grip on the imagination."—Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians

"The Empire State Building is enduringly essential—like the building itself."—Mike Wallace, coauthor of Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801471087
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 3/21/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 408
  • Sales rank: 657,344
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

John Tauranac writes on New York's architectural history, he teaches and lectures on the subject, he gives tours of the city, and he is a mapmaker. In 1997, he was the guest curator of A Dream Well Planned: The Empire State Building at the Museum of the City of New York. His books include New York from the Air, Elegant New York, Essential New York, and Seeing New York. He has contributed to the New York Times, the New York Observer, New York Newsday, New York Magazine, Travel & Leisure, Seaport, Avenue Magazine, and other publications. Tauranac is an adjunct associate professor at NYU’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 11
1 The Building 15
2 The Skyscraper 30
3 Zoning the City 50
4 The Boom of the Twenties 67
5 The Odd Couple 86
6 The Firm 99
7 The Site 111
8 The Style 136
9 The Design 153
10 The Contractors 171
11 The Mooring Mast 184
12 Building the Building 198
13 The Opening 227
14 The Staff and Tenants 249
15 The Bust of the Thirties 267
16 The War 312
17 Since the War 332
Bibliography 367
Index 375
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)