New York Rising




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From the first European settlement in the seventeenth century through the skyscrapers and large-scale urban planning schemes of the late twentieth century, this book presents a broad historical survey, illustrated with images drawn largely from the rich archival resources of the Durst Collection at Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

The patriarch of one of New York City’s most prominent real estate families, Seymour B. Durst, was a bibliophile and an avid collector of New York memorabilia. His archival holdings–once known as the Old York Library and now the Durst Collection–reflect his fascination with the city’s street grid, mass transit, port, parks and open spaces, as well as its monumental buildings and signature skyline.

Ten leading scholars–the late Hilary Ballon, Ann Buttenwieser, Andrew Dolkart, David King, Reinhold Martin, Richard Plunz, Lynne B. Sagalyn, Hilary Sample, Russell Shorto, and Carol Willis–delved into the collection to select objects that reflect their own areas of interest and expertise. Using these materials, they have created visual narratives on specific topics, focusing on the Dutch and English governance of Manhattan, the growth of the city according to the Commissioners’ Plan of 1811, the emergence of the public transit system, the “race for height,” the rise of multi-family and affordable housing, the transformation of Midtown into a commercial center, urban renewal in the Moses era, the revival of Times Square, and the reclaiming of the waterfront as public space. Essays by Kate Ascher and Thomas Mellins provide a framework for exploring these topics.

New York Rising is published in association with The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.