Audio Guide

Skyline Intro (Late 19th)

The NYC Skyline in the 19th Century

Narrated by Carol Willis, Founder & Director for the Skyscraper Museum


New York had a new identity at the dawn of the 20th century, a modern skyscraper metropolis. Steel skeleton construction was altering the skyline. The first elevator office buildings, just ten stories tall, had sprouted in Lower Manhattan in the early 1870s. By the end of the 19th century, the city had a dozen towers that stretched twenty stories or higher. Downtown, the Park Row Building, which peaked at 391 feet, was the tallest office building in the city and in the world.