25 Great Books About New York City Architecture

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Architecture is the primary form of art in New York City. It's the first thing you see and experience -- from brownstones to skyscrapers. Life is contained within structures defined by the aesthetics of the day and of past days. Over the years I've read through a great many books on New York's defining works of architecture. Here's just a short sampling of some of my favorites books which explore the history of New York through its grandest structures, the architects who made them and the critics who shaped them.

  • Guide to New York City Landmarks

  • The Flatiron: The New York Landmark and the Incomparable City That Arose with It

  • Higher: A Historic Race to the Sky and the Making of a City

  • Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White: Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America's Gilded Age

  • The Pan Am Building and the Shattering of the Modernist Dream (The MIT Press)

  • Divided We Stand: A Biography Of New York's World Trade Center

  • The Skyscraper and the City: The Woolworth Building and the Making of Modern New York

  • Makers of Modern Architecture: From Frank Lloyd Wright to Frank Gehry (New York Review Books (Hardcover))

  • Five Hundred Buildings of New York

  • On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change

  • The Death and Life of Great American Cities

  • Conquering Gotham: Building Penn Station and Its Tunnels

  • Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan

  • Rise of the New York Skyscraper: 1865-1913

  • The City of To-morrow and Its Planning (Dover Architecture)

  • Supreme City: How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth to Modern America

  • The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects

  • Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center

  • The Invention of Brownstone Brooklyn: Gentrification and the Search for Authenticity in Postwar New York

Courtesy Greg Young, the Bowery Boys: New York City History