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Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures The Architecture and Development of New York City with Andrew S. Dolkart
image The Birth of the Skyscraper The First Elevator
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The First Elevator
Critical Acclaim
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The elevator is one of the requirements of the skyscraper, and this was, of course, realized very early. One of the first major bits of criticism of the skyscraper, and one of the first histories of the early skyscraper was written in Scribner's magazine, a very popular art and literary magazine of the late nineteenth century. Barr Ferree, one of the leading nineteenth-century architecture critics, wrote about the skyscraper and how the skyscraper developed. He wrote:
Vertical architecture would be impossible, first of all, without the elevator, the great equalizer of civilization, which . . . by excessively rapid "express service," makes the twentieth floor scarcely more difficult to access than the third. . . . Without [the elevator] its chief merit [of the tall building] would be gone; without it its upper stories would be as inaccessible as a mountaintop.


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