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How New York Got Its Skyline

Many of the classic skyscrapers that define New York City’s skyline have their design roots in a monumental 1916 zoning law, which established “setback” requirements for buildings above a certain height. In the heart of the Financial District, the Equitable Building, a historic skyscraper that predates the law, remains a symbol of the excesses of the pre-zoning era.

Video by Raymond Schillinger
Camera: Brian Schildhorn
Add’l Production: Ren Potts, Jordan Oplinger
Graphics: Christian Capestany

Special thanks to:

Silverstein Properties
Carol Willis – Founder, Director, and Curator of The Skyscraper Museum
New York City Department of City Planning

Archival Photographs from Getty Images, POND5

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