Art and Architecture, History, Reviews

Review: Fenske, The Skyscraper and the City

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The August 16 edition of the Wall Street Journal ran a short but positive review of Gail Fenske’s new book, The Skyscraper and the City: The Woolworth Building and the Making of Modern New York. Fenske’s book uses an in-depth architectural analysis of New York’s Woolworth building as a lens through which to view the city’s distinctive urban culture. As WSJ reviewer Nicholas Desai writes: “The building’s style, inside and out, is hybrid, almost a pastiche, offering Tudor, Byzantine and Gothic elements—modern but not modernist,” and Fenske’s book insightfully connects this unique eclecticism to the cultural contradictions that defined New York City’s modernity.
Desai’s review continues praising Fenske’s prose as “academic but clear, enlivened by her interest in the cultural moment” and calls her work “a definitive take on a 20th-century classic.”
Read it online at the WSJ website.