Modern New York: The Illustrated Story of Architecture in the Five Boroughs from 1920 to Today takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride through the changing fortunes of New York City throughout the last hundred years, from the heights of the Roaring Twenties and “Mad Men” Fifties, to the depths of the Great Depression Thirties, through to “Fear City” in the Seventies, and beyond. Many of the featured buildings won’t be found in city guides and some of them are no longer around—but each one played an integral part in the fascinating story of the five boroughs.
The ten decades are explored through some 150 buildings in all corners of the city, from Rockefeller Center to the Pan Am Building to the Standard Hotel, as well as treasures lost, such as the 1927 Savoy-Plaza Hotel, and treasures rescued, such as the astonishingly glamourous 1924 American Radiator Building, now the Bryant Park Hotel. New York City has been described from every possible angle through thousands of books. But not many of them venture out of Manhattan, let alone visit all five boroughs. Out of these, only a handful is accessible to non-experts and fewer still are entertaining and illustrated. And none of them offer such a crisp and visually unified picture of the Big Apple.