Bedrock Depth and the Formation of the Manhattan Skyline, 1890-1915
AbstractSkyscrapers in Manhattan must be anchored to bedrock to prevent (possibly uneven) settling; this can potentially increase construction costs if the bedrock lies deep below the surface. The conventional wisdom holds that Manhattan developed two business centersâ€”downtown and midtownâ€”because bedrock is close to the surface in these locations, with a bedrock "valley" deep below the surface in between. We measure the effects of building costs associated with bedrock depths, relative to other important economic variables in the location of early Manhattan skyscrapers. We find that bedrock depths had very little influence on the creation of separate business districts; rather its poly-centric development was due to residential and manufacturing patterns, and public transportation hubs. We do find evidence, however, that bedrock depths influenced the placement of skyscrapers within business districts.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Fordham University, Department of Economics in its series Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series with number dp2010-09.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Skyscrapers; geology; bedrock; urban agglomeration;
Other versions of this item:
- Jason Barr & Troy Tassier & Rossen Trendafilov, 2009. "Bedrock Depth and the Formation of the Manhattan Skyline, 1890-1915," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2009-006, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- N62 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
- R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
- R33 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Nonagricultural and Nonresidential Real Estate Markets
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-23 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2010-10-23 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-URE-2010-10-23 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Sébastien Roux, 2008.
"Estimating Agglomeration Economies with History, Geology and Worker Effects,"
2008-22, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
- Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Sébastien Roux, 2010. "Estimating Agglomeration Economies with History, Geology, and Worker Effects," NBER Chapters, in: Agglomeration Economics, pages 15-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Sébastien Roux, 2008. "Estimating Agglomeration Economies With History, Geology, And Worker Effects," Working Papers halshs-00347451, HAL.
- Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Duranton, Gilles & Gobillon, Laurent & Roux, Sébastien, 2008. "Estimating Agglomeration Economies with History, Geology, and Worker Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 6728, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jason Barr, 2011. "Skyscrapers and Skylines: New York and Chicago, 1885-2007," Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark 2011-001, Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark.
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