Six In One Shot

Another old photo, from 2012 or so, looking east on Albany Street from West Street to Greenwich Street. The original photo isn’t actually this washed out, but I had to reduce the contrast to get detail visible at the street level.

The building at the front left is 90 West Street, showing off its fine 1905 terra-cotta facade. The other three big buildings on Albany are all reasonably modern: the building behind 90 West, 140 Washington, is a 1930s building stripped to the steel and enlarged in 2010; the brick building on the right, 80 West, was built in the late 1980s; the building behind it, 123 Washington, was built in 2007.

The tan brick building at the end of Albany was the 1889 Western Electric Building and was torn down shortly after I took this picture. It’s one of two buildings that made it into my skyscraper research that were demolished as I was working on the book. The dirty yellow building to its right is the 1921 (now empty) American Stock Exchange.

Above and beyond Western Electric we have a blank side wall, then the 1905 Trinity Building at 111 Broadway, the 1915 Equitable Building at 120 Broadway and the 1961 Chase Manhattan building at 28 Liberty Street. Way off in the distance we have the very top of the spire of the 1930 Cities Services Building at 70 Pine Street.

So in one photo we have high-rises from the pre-skeleton-frame era of the 1880s, the early mature skyscraper era of shortly after 1900, the height boom of the 1920s and 30s, the end of the old-style structure in the 1960s, the end of International-Style modernism in the 1980s, and some current designs.

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