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 NYC Architecture
Over the past 250 years, as Columbia has blossomed into a world-class center of learning and knowledge, the remarkable metropolis of New York City has also changed dramatically. The colonial settlement of New York—in which King's College was chartered—has thrived and prospered, becoming what many would consider the "capital of the world." View 
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NYC Architecture As New York emerged as the major commercial center in North America, banks, bridges, and skyscrapers were erected; huge middle-class residential neighborhoods were developed; and great mansions were built. With the wealth that was generated from commerce, New Yorkers were able to fund great institutional buildings: the libraries, the museums, and other cultural establishments for which the city is known, not least of which is Columbia's Morningside Heights campus.

Andrew Dolkart, James Marston Fitch Chair and associate professor of historic preservation at Columbia, created The Architecture and Development of New York City in collaboration with Columbia University Digital Knowledge Ventures. The site is a richly illustrated, interactive look at the development of New York's great built environment. Along with the discussion of architectural styles and features, Professor Dolkart chronicles the use of architecture as a marketing tool, the evolution of attitudes toward tall buildings, and the birth of zoning rules that have determined the actual shape of the city, its skyscrapers, and sidewalks.

This entertaining and informative site is designed both for those able to view video and for users who prefer text. It includes lectures by Professor Dolkart that are illustrated with audio slide shows, maps, archival images, and footage. The site also includes short biographies of developers and architects; a glossary; and gazetteers complete with building addresses, construction dates, and other information. Users who are interested can sign up for e-mails alerting them to the completion of sections of the site, which will include the evolution of commercial, residential, and institutional architecture in New York City, with a focus on the development of infrastructure, religious buildings, civic, academic, and cultural landmarks.

ESB Construction

This calendar uses archival photographs to document the construction of the Empire State Building (Flash Player required).

Maps & Key Buildings

This map tool provides the locations and photographs of the buildings in New York City that are discussed by Professor Andrew Dolkart (Flash Player required).


Professor Andrew Dolkart examines the history and development of New York City's commercial, residential, and institutional architecture.

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