SOM in the Press

High Life: The City Above 800 Feet

Photo © Iwan Baan

Source: The New York Times Magazine

A city on an island, teeming with cash and ego, has nowhere to go but up. And up. And up. Imagine the Manhattan skyline in a time-lapse filmstrip, starting around 1890 — when the New York World Building crested above the 284-foot spire of Trinity Church — and culminating in the present day: it is a series of continual skyward propulsions, each new proud round overshadowing the last...

Looking back, we can see that 1950s landmarks like Lever House, by SOM’s Gordon Bunshaft, and the Seagram Building, by Mies van der Rohe, are as beautiful and refined as any architecture in America, although in the following decades they spawned a million mediocre imitations, cluttering Manhattan and obscuring the originals’ genius.

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