Construction History: Singer

The Singer Building never quite was as famous at might have been. It was only the tallest skyscraper in the world for a year (before the Met Life tower was completed up at Madison Square), its claim to fame as the tallest building intentionally demolished has now been lost to the Union Carbide Building, and most importantly, it had a neighbor that permanently blocked its views.

Singer is the slender tower under construction in the picture above. The tower top was a curved mansard, and you can see the steel columns curving inward. The rest of the construction you see is the City Investing Buidling, which had really nothing going for it architecturally and blocked proper views of Singer from the west and north. (The picture above is from the southwest looking northeast.) If you look closely, you can see the masons’ platforms at the corners of Singer, as they work upwards behind the steel erection.

Here’s a picture from a few years later, looking south along Broadway:

That’s St. Paul’s Chapel on the lower right, the St. Paul Building on the left, and Singer peeking over the top of one of City Investing’s many wings.

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