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| | |-+  Why were so few tall buildings built in the 1950s?
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Author Topic: Why were so few tall buildings built in the 1950s?  (Read 159 times)
Bismarck
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« on: February 05, 2019, 02:11:46 pm »

If you look at the tallest buildings in most US cities, they were built in the 1960s-present or 1920-1930. I understand why there were less skyscraper projects in the 40s with the war but why not in the prosperous 1950s? Most growth in this time was sprawl?
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Orser67
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 05:20:20 pm »

I'm no expert on architecture, but I know some have made the argument that skyscraper construction is correlated with income inequality. Income inequality in the U.S. was lower in the 1950s than it was in e.g. the 1920s or today.
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2019, 10:10:39 pm »

Skyscrapers only make economic sense when land costs are high.  The rise of the automobile in the post war years reduced the value of being in the urban core by making transportation easier.  Between the depression and the war, the number of automobiles in this country was pretty much static between 1929 and 1945, with a little over 23 million in 1929 and a little under 26 million in 1945.  By 1955 there were over 52 million on the road and by 1965 there were over 75 million.

Call it sprawl if you will, but the ease of transportation made skyscrapers less attractive.
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