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Topics in Chronicling America - Early New York Skyscrapers

“Shoving a mountain of steel and stone bodily up into the blue sky is the modern miracle which makes even New York stop, look and listen, as they say at the railroad crossing,” read an April 7, 1912 edition of The Sun. Skyscrapers were the product of advancements in architecture and technology, especially with the usage of steel in building designs. Skyscrapers were immensely popular, amongst corporations and residential properties alike. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection ( Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.

A drawing of several skyscrapers.

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Important Dates:

  • 1889. The Tower Building is built in New York, arguably one of New York’s first skyscrapers.
  • 1892. A new skyscraper, the Home Life Insurance Building, proclaimed as the narrowest in the city, is built.
  • 1902. The Flat Iron building, unique and innovative in structure and design, is built near Madison Square.
  • 1903. The New York Times building was completed in 1903. Many newspapers demanded tall office buildings which were built on Park Row, nicknamed Newspaper Row, in downtown Manhattan.
  • 1908. The Singer Tower is built on Broadway. With 47 stories, it is the tallest building in the world from 1908-1909.
  • 1909. The Singer Tower is surpassed by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building with 50 stories. It remains the tallest building in the world until 1914.
  • 1914. The Woolworth Building, one of the most dominant skyscrapers at the time is completed. It remains the world’s tallest building for 15 years. One of New York’s first skyscrapers, the Tower Building, is demolished.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] skyscraper
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  August 22, 2014
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