New Book Analyzes Gotham’s Mid-Century Skyline

According to the compelling new book “New York Mid-Century: 1945-1965” (Vendome Press), the “exuberance” that gave rise to Gotham’s iconic skyline that began during the Jazz Age was long gone by the time post-war modernism took hold. What sprung up in its place were developments of austere design and building materials that weren’t appreciated by architecture buffs until decades in their wake.

According to the book — written by Annie Cohen-Solal, Paul Goldberger and Robert Gottlieb — signature structures that reflect this mid-century modernist aesthetic included the U.N. Headquarters, the Look Building and the CBS Building, completed in 1965 by Eero Saarinen, credited as the first reinforced-concrete tower to be built in the city, and henceforth known as the “Black Rock.”
But the star of the show is clearly Frank Lloyd Wright’s circular, elegant Guggenheim Museum, as much a game-changer in its day as Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall in Downtown’s L.A. is in ours.

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