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Designing Modern AmericaBroadway to Main Street$
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Christopher Innes

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108040

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108040.001.0001

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Reaching for the Sky

Reaching for the Sky

(p.191) 11 Reaching for the Sky
Designing Modern America

Christopher Innes

Yale University Press

This chapter describes the uniquely modern and characteristically American kind of building—the skyscraper. In American cities, it is the towering structures of steel and glass that catch the eye. Le Corbusier's notion was that contemporary architecture should create “machines for living,” and skyscrapers have been called, in typically American fashion, “machines for making money.” The twin towers of the World Trade Center, reaching above the Manhattan skyline as well as being at the core of the global economy, were an ideal target for terrorists bent on destroying a symbol of American financial power. One New York builder famously declared, “Our civilization is progressing wonderfully…we must keep building and we must build upwards.”

Keywords:   skyscraper, American cities, towering structures, Le Corbusier, contemporary architecture, machines for living

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