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Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures The Architecture and Development of New York City with Andrew S. Dolkart
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Empty State Building
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Empty State Building
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These buildings—the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the other great towers of the late 1920s—were erected during a period of constant construction in New York, one of the periods in the city's history when a vast amount of office space was created. Most of these buildings were completed after the stock-market crash in 1929, and most of them suffered badly. In fact, the Empire State Building was known as the Empty State Building for many years because the owners simply could not get tenants. Only the admission fees from the observatory really saved the building from bankruptcy. So these buildings went on the market at a very bad time. It was not until the late 1940s and early 1950s, after the Depression and World War II, that most of them filled up.

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