In 1871 the Equitable Building, located at 120 Broadway, became the first office building to install an elevator. 3 Tourists rode up and down, marveling at this new technological marvel and at the equally spectacular view from the roof, located an astonishing seven stories in the air.
“Gilbert...continued to climb the ladder, rung by painful rung, his knuckles whitening with strain and gusts of wind battering him unmercifully.” After he came to the top floor, he crawled along the scaffolding to the corner, took the plumb line out of his pocket and dropped it down the side of the building. After the fact, he announced that: “There was not even the slightest vibration. The building stood steady as a rock in the sea.”
On Sun, Aug 29, 2010 at 10:26 AM, Sarah Landau wrote:
If you check my and Carl Condit’s book, Rise of the New York Skyscraper, 1865 to 1913, you’ll see that the Tower Building was basically 11 stories high, but higher on the New Street side (see pp. 161-166). You’ll see that the architect, Bradford Lee Gilbert, does refer to a 13th story, and in our footnote 71 (page 416 of our book), we say that “Gilbert’s reference to a thirteenth story must include the basement and the space within the pavilion roof in his count.” This is as definitive as I can be.
And On Sun, Aug 29, 2010 at 11:24 AM, Sarah Landau wrote:
Oh, just in case you haven’t read it, in our preface to our book on. p. XV, we say that “As a rule we have not included underground stories in our counts; we consider as the first story the lowest to project fully, or nearly so, above the sidewalk. The highest we include is the topmost usable floor, unless otherwise indicated.” Hope this helps.
Murphy, Jim; The Great Fire.
New York Times; No Benefit in Excessive Height.
“...newcomers approaching....” Burns, 230
“Gilbert...continued to climb....” Ellis, 408
“The unlimited....” New York Times (Nov. 2, 1913)