Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Singer Building

Nine years ago, InFocusTech began producing souvenir buildings. Mike and his sons recently reached a milestone that no company before has – they have created 500 different cast replicas buildings. To commemorate this event, they are offering a very limited edition souvenir of their favorite skyscraper of all time: The Singer Building. They replicated just the top of the tower and only 50 will be cast, signed and numbered. This replica is 5.5 inches tall. Congratulations, Mike, We’re looking forward to 1000! Back in 1996, Microcosms also produced a souvenir replica of the Singer Building. Standing approximately 7.5 inch tall and marked "AT 96" inside the bldg. the base reads, “singer building” and “new york.” I believe they came in gold, nickel and copper finishes. One sold recently on eBay for $78 and another for $195. The real Singer Building once stood majestically at Liberty Street and Broadway in Manhattan, NY and was an office building and the headquarters of the Singer Manufacturing Company. Completed in 1908, the architect, Ernest Flagg, was a supporter of height limitations and restrictive zoning and showed his solution to tall-building crowding with the Singer's set-back design. The 12-story base of the building filled an entire blockfront, while the tower above was very narrow. At 612 feet (187 m) above grade, the Singer Building was the tallest building in the world until the completion, in 1909, of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower also in NY. Tragically, the building was demolished in 1968. Resoning at the time claimed that the building was functionally obsolete and planners wanted to make way for the subdued U.S. Steel Building (currently known as One Liberty Plaza). The Singer Building remained the second-tallest building ever to be destroyed, after Avala TV Tower in Serbia destroyed during NATO bombing, until the September 11, 2001, collapse of the nearby World Trade Center. It is still the tallest building ever to be lawfully demolished. Its sad that ‘laws’ allow short-sighted people destroy such wonderful architecture in the name of ‘progress.’

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