Art Deco architecture in New York City during the 1920's

“As Americans we pride ourselves on being the strongest, the biggest, the fastest, the best, and in a simple word- the skyscraper” (Art Deco I-II, 21-11-02)
Art Deco Architecture in New York City Skyscrapers of the 1920's
Society almost always chooses to represent social changes in the art of the time. Usually this art comes before the change has chosen to show itself in the minds of the general public. This pattern had continued throughout history until the 20th century when such a great change occurred, it not only wiped out the ideas of the former time, but also the art. This change was opposite to the normal artfirst and then changes pattern. Instead, the public chose to change and forced art to come along for the ride. By 1920, the USA, and especially New York City, had changed greatly from the quiet Victorian 1899. New York was growing, not in land, but in spirit. The competitive nature of the New York City skyline was directly influenced by the mind set of victory after WWI, technological advancements, and a rising economy producing a more accepting range of ideas leading to Art Deco architecture in the 1920's.
Prior to 1914, and the beginning of American involvement in WWI, there was only one style of architecture that leaned towards the past and recalled renaissance, gothic, or ancient styles of European history. Europe held total control of the world's styles in architecture and everything built in New York City during this time was and had to be this controlled European style. No one dared change from the past and the ones who did were forced to redesign their buildings in order to get commissions. This style's prominence continued into thefirst two decades of the 20th century until the Allied victory of WWI when everything changed in America (Risebero, 212).
Even with the controlled European architecture regulating the thoughts and ideas of architects, a competitive nature was developing i…


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