Of all building types, the skyscraper strikes observers as the most modern, in terms not only of height but also of boldness, scale, ingenuity, and daring. As a phenomenon born in late-nineteenth-century America, it quickly became emblematic of New York, Chicago, and other major cities. Previous studies of these structures have tended to foreground more avowedly modernist approaches, while those with styles reminiscent of the great Gothic cathedrals of Europe were initially disparaged as being antimodernist or were simply unacknowledged. Skyscraper Gothic
brings together renowned scholars to address the medievalist skyscraper, from the flying buttresses to the dizzying spires, and from the Chicago Tribune Tower to the Woolworth Building in Manhattan.
Drawing on archival evidence and period texts to uncover the ways in which patrons and architects came to understand the Gothic as a historic style, the authors explore what the appearance of Gothic forms on radically new buildings meant urbanistically, architecturally, and socially not only for those who were involved in the actual conceptualization and execution of the projects but also for the critics and the general public who saw the buildings take shape.