Bedrock Depth and the Formation of the Manhattan Skyline, 1890-1915
AbstractSkyscrapers in Manhattan need to 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 centers--downtown and midtown--because the depth to the bedrock is close to the surface in these locations, with a bedrock "valley" 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 (1890-1915). We find that bedrock depths had very little influence on the skyline; rather its polycentric development was due to residential and manufacturing patterns, and public transportation hubs.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Department of Economics, Rutgers University, Newark in its series Working Papers Rutgers University, Newark with number 2009-006.
Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
skyscrapers; geology; bedrock; sprawl; urban agglomeration;
Other versions of this item:
- Jason Barr & Troy Tassier & Rossen Trendafilov, 2010. "Bedrock Depth and the Formation of the Manhattan Skyline, 1890-1915," Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series dp2010-09, Fordham University, Department of Economics.
- N61 - Economic History - - Manufacturing and Construction - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
- N92 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History - - - 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, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Nonagricultural and Nonresidential Real Estate Markets
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-11-07 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2009-11-07 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-URE-2009-11-07 (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,"
- 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.
- 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.
- Pierre-Philippe Combes & Gilles Duranton & Laurent Gobillon & Sébastien Roux, 2008. "Estimating Agglomeration Economies with History, Geology and Worker Effects," Working Papers 2008-22, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
- 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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