Image courtesy of the Skyscraper Museum.
Image courtesy of the Skyscraper Museum.

Now open at The Skyscraper Museum, a ground-breaking exhibition devoted to the invention and evolution of Manhattan’s skyline, past, present, and future. “SKYLINE” examines the emergence of the collective image of the skyline as the brand identity of New York, but also distinguishes five periods in which new buildings grow and take characteristic forms based on economic, technological, and regulatory factors. The exhibition traces the overarching story of Manhattan’s high-rise growth from small to tall, and taller. Cycles of boom and bust created the crowded clusters of Downtown and Midtown and today energize new geographies such as Hudson Yards and a new typology of super-slender residential towers, seen on “Billionaire’s Row” and in other areas with sweeping views of the skyline. Popular culture items such as early 20th-century postcards, souvenirs, magazines, and movies, as well as architectural models, photographs, and renderings trace the changes in both the conception of and physical form of the city over time.