Conventional opinion has held that the Equitable Building (1912-1915) at 120 South Broadway in New York was the embodiment of all that was wrong with skyscrapers, and that it was thus a major cause of the 1916 zoning ordinance which restricted the height, size, and arrangement of buildings in the city. A closer look at the evidence reveals that a blueprint for the zoning regulation was complete in 1913 when the Equitable had just been begun. In the clash of conflicting ideologies surrounding the zoning movement, the Equitable was more a convenient symbol, a handy scapegoat in the heat of contemporary rhetoric, than a principal cause of the new ordinance. The earlier misjudgment has obscured the building's place in two other areas in the history of architecture: elevator engineering, and the adaptation of management techniques to building construction.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
1
Seymour I. Toll, Zoned America, New York, 1969, 48
Toll
48
Zoned America
1969
R. Babcock, The Zoning Game, Madison, 1966
Babcock
The Zoning Game
1966
J. Delafous, Land Use Controls in the United States, Cam- bridge, Mass., 1962
Delafous
Land Use Controls in the United States
1962
Carol Willis, "Zoning and Zeitgeist: The Sky- scraper City in the 1920s,"JSAH, XLV, 1986, 47-59.
Willis
47
XLV
JSAH
1986
2
Norval White and Elliot Willensky, AIA Guide to New York City, New York, 1978, 20.
White
20
AIA Guide to New York City
1978
3
Testimony before the Building Commission, New York Board of Aldermen, typescript, New York Municipal Library, 1908.
4
Toll, Zoned America, 146-154.
Toll
146
Zoned America
6
Ibid.
7
Report of the Heights of Buildings Commission, 17, n. 19
17
Report of the Heights of Buildings Commission
Toll, Zoned America, 71
Toll
71
Zoned America
Helen Christine Bennett, "The Greatest Builder of Sky- scrapers in the World," American Magazine, LXXXIX, April 1920, 177, n. 8
Bennett
177
LXXXIX
American Magazine
1920
Statement of Lawson Purdy, 8 May 1916, in Commission on Building Districts and Restrictions, final report, 2 June 1916 (New York: City of New York, Board of Estimate and Apportionment, Committee on the City Plan, 1916), 168
Statement of Lawson Purdy, 8 May 1916
168
Commission on Building Districts and Restrictions, final report, 2 June 1916
1916
Statements of Herbert S. Swan and George W. Tutle, 15 March 1916, ibid., 177
Statements of Herbert S. Swan and George W. Tutle, 15 March 1916
177
Commission on Building Districts and Restrictions, final report, 2 June 1916
8
Toll, Zoned America, chapter 2.
Toll
chapter 2
Zoned America
9
Report of the Heights of Buildings Commission, Diagram VI, 77.
Report of the Heights of Buildings Commission
10
Carol Krinsky, "Sister Cities," Chicago and New York: Architectural Interactions, Chicago, 1984, 59
Krinsky
Sister Cities
59
Chicago and New York: Architectural Interactions
1984
Paul Goldberger, Skyscraper, New York, 1981, 11-23, 37-47
Goldberger
11
Skyscraper
1981
M. Domosh, "The Symbolism of the Skyscraper: Case Studies of New York's First Tall Buildings," Journal of Urban History, XIV, May 1988, 321, n. 45.
Domosh
May
321
XIV
Journal of Urban History
1988
11
Report of the Heights of Buildings Commission to the Committee on the Height, Size, and Arrangement of Buildings of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of the City of New York, 23 December 1913, 15.
15
Report of the Heights of Buildings Commission to the Committee on the Height, Size, and Arrangement of Buildings of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment of the City of New York
1913
12
Class of 1892- Report VI, 1917, 11
11
Class of 1892-Report VI
1917
13
The New York Times, 10 January 1912
10 January
The New York Times
1912
14
Fred Arnold, "Up Go Fifty Thousand People," The Real Estate Magazine, February 1915, 61
Arnold
February
61
The Real Estate Magazine
1915
Winston Weisman, "A New View of Skyscraper History," The Rise of An American Architecture, New York, 1970
Weisman
A New View of Skyscraper History
The Rise of An American Architecture
1970
15
Arnold, "Fifty Thousand People," 61.
Arnold
61
Fifty Thousand People
16
Ibid., 60.
60
17
Ibid
18
Louis J. Horowitz, "The Modern Building Organization," The Real Estate News, February 1915, 26.
Horowitz
February
26
The Real Estate News
1915
19
F. A. Austin, "Team Work Built the New Equitable, The Real Estate Magazine, February 1915, 29, 31.
Austin
February
29
The Real Estate Magazine
1915
20
Ibid., 34.
34
21
Francisco Mujica, History of the Skyscraper, New York, 1929, pl. 37.
Mujica
History of the Skyscraper
1929
22
Louis Horowitz, "Towers of New York," Saturday Evening Post, 28 March 1936, 49, no. 50.
Horowitz
49
Saturday Evening Post
1936
23
Ibid., 49.
49
24
Louis I. Horowitz, The Towers of New York, New York, 1937, 153, n. 4.
Horowitz
153
The Towers of New York
1937
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