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New York City Skyscrapers: Topics in Chronicling America

In New York City, during the late 19th and early 20th century, emerged the rise of Skyscrapers. This guide provides access to material related to "New York City Skyscrapers" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


Twenty-five years progress in the art of building skyscrapers. January 4, 1914. The Sun (New York, NY), Image 21. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

“Shoving a mountain of steel and stone bodily up into the blue sky is the modern miracle which makes even New York stop, look and listen, as they say at the railroad crossing,” read an April 7, 1912 edition of The Sun. Skyscrapers were the product of advancements in architecture and technology, especially with the usage of steel in building designs. Skyscrapers were immensely popular among corporations and residential properties alike. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1889 The Tower Building is built in New York, arguably one of New York's first skyscrapers.
1892 A new skyscraper, the Home Life Insurance Building, proclaimed as the narrowest in the city, is built.
1902 The Flat Iron building, unique and innovative in structure and design, is built near Madison Square.
1903 The New York Times building was completed in 1903. Many newspapers demanded tall office buildings which were built on Park Row, nicknamed Newspaper Row, in downtown Manhattan.
1908 The Singer Tower is built on Broadway. With 47 stories, it is the tallest building in the world from 1908-1909.
1909 The Singer Tower is surpassed by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building with 50 stories. It remains the tallest building in the world until 1914.
1914 The Woolworth Building, one of the most dominant skyscrapers at the time is completed. It remains the world’s tallest building for 15 years. One of New York’s first skyscrapers, the Tower Building, is demolished.