The 1920s and 1930s were a period of remarkable architectural progress in New York City. The city was thriving, with a population of almost six million in the city itself and ten million in the region. This growth was reflected in the construction of skyscrapers, which were distinguished by their grace and verticality. Art Deco architecture flourished during this time, and can be seen in government buildings, commercial projects, and residential buildings throughout the five boroughs.
The Government implemented a new regulation on buildings with more than six floors to combat water pressure. This regulation, combined with the population growth, led to a rapid development of skyscrapers. Three supergiants, each one of the tallest in the world for a time, dominated New York from May 1930 to May 1931. Nowadays, many significant structures from this era still stand thanks to the New York City Historic Monuments Preservation Act, which was passed 50 years ago. This act, along with the efforts of neighborhood organizations working to preserve and protect New York's abundant architectural past, has enabled us to appreciate the abstract, stylized, floral, geometric or stylized design that inspired the trends of the 1920s and 1930s.
The Skyscraper Museum's programs are supported by public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. The museum's programs are also made possible by the New York State Arts Council with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. No place better predicted the future of modern cities than New York itself. During this time, people moved to elegant six-story art deco apartment buildings on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx and on Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn.
They dined at art deco restaurants and elegant automatic machines (the first fast food chain in the country), and watched movies in movie palaces in their neighborhoods. Together, these monuments from the 1920s and 1930s made New York one of the most advanced cities in the world.