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Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures The Architecture and Development of New York City with Andrew S. Dolkart
image The Skyscraper City Non-Office Buildings
The Garment Center
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Maps & Key Buildings
Non-Office Buildings
The Garment Center
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It is also important to remember that commercial buildings are not limited in New York to just office buildings. Now certainly the office economy was a crucial part of New York, but there were other parts of the commercial economy as well. New York in the early decades of the twentieth century remained a major industrial center. And the 1920s were the period of the development of the Garment District in New York, when high-rise garment factories began to take advantage of skyscraper construction. The Garment Center moved to the western part of Midtown, in the twenties and thirties on Seventh Avenue, and on the streets to the west. So you get tall, Garment Center loft buildings with setbacks—because they had to follow the zoning law, too—and large windows to allow as much light to come into these buildings as possible. These two are very traditional in their detailing. They often have classical or Renaissance ornament on them. And on the rarest occasions, they will have ornamental details that have something to do with the garment industry. Maybe a peacock or a woman looking into a mirror or spools of thread will appear on some of these buildings. But high-rise buildings also begin to be used for the industrial sector of New York.


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