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The Rise of Wall Street, The Skyscraper Museum

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Uploaded on Apr 27, 2010

Intro Video for the 2010 exhibition, Wall Street Rising, at The Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place, New York, NY.

SEE COMPLETE ONLINE WALKTHROUGH OF THE EXHIBIT HERE: http://www.skyscraper.org/EXHIBITIONS...


"Wall Street" is both a broad metaphor for the American center for global finance and a real place with an inordinately rich history layered into every lot of its nearly half-mile length, stretching from Trinity Church on Broadway to the East River. From colonial times, when the first bastions were erected to mark the edge of town, Wall Street has been continuously transformed, both in function --from commercial and residential to financial-- as well as in scale. Row houses were replaced by low-rise banks, then massive high-rise office buildings. The skyscrapers that line Wall Street today represent the climax species of an intense urban process. Documenting all buildings at Wall Street addresses since 1850, the exhibition demonstrates the cycles of growth that shaped the financial district over time, charting both the evolution from small to tall and the growing girth of buildings enabled by new technologies and slow, but savvy site assembly.

Wall Street's high-rise history illustrates and exaggerates the typical story of skyscraper development expressed by the value of land and the demand for prime locations. As the district became the center of finance in the mid-19th century, Wall Street lots became the richest dirt on earth, selling at the highest prices per square foot ever recorded. The multiplicity of small lots and continuous occupation for more than 300 years also meant that Wall Street's big buildings represented the most expensive and challenging engineering and construction projects of their time. The exhibit explores how high stakes in architecture paralleled financial speculation at the heart of the capital of capitalism.

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