Citylab has published an interactive timeline of skyscraper construction in New York City. Created by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the timeline shows the ebb and flow of tall building construction since 1900. It also reveals the strong correlation between construction trends and major historical events.
For instance, during the Roaring ‘20s, buildings shot upward, becoming far taller than in previous decades. However, confidence and resources rapidly dwindled after the Great Depression, and building materials were scarce during World War II. The 1970s through the 2000s saw periods of fluctuation—much like the U.S. economy.
Now, in 2015, tall building construction is rising once again. Yet today’s “tall buildings”—buildings of 100+ meters—are increasingly for residential purposes rather than office space. And tall buildings are overwhelmingly concentrated in Manhattan: 90% of tall buildings are in Manhattan, with Brooklyn following at a mere 4%.
Hudson Yards exemplifies—and contributes to—this trend, which some have labeled the “next wave of construction”. Kriston Capps of Citylab wrote that the “second wave of the skyscraper boom” would feature more moderately-sized towers; closer to 600 feet tall.
Hudson Yards is the frontier for this new wave; what happens here will help influence writing the next chapter in New York City’s architectural history.