Sunday, January 22, 2012

Skyscrapers, My Favorite Coffee Table Book

My favorite coffee table book.
 I first encountered this beautiful book a couple of years ago while waiting to get a table at Captain Ratty’s Seafood Restaurant in New Bern, NC.  On the coffee table in the waiting area among various magazines was this book.  I began leafing through it and thought,  I have to get this book.  I feared it might be unavailable, but when I checked Amazon there it was.  I ordered it, and it has been my favorite coffee table book since.
Book displayed vertically on art shelf.
Skyscrapers are tall, and so is this book. It measures 18" by 8" and although it is a coffee table book, I display it standing vertically on the art shelf under our windows rather than flat on the coffee table.  When grandsons Zach and Brooks were here during Christmas, they plucked the book off the shelf and began perusing it with great fascination. When my teen-age grandsons became engrossed in this book, it reminded me how intriguing the book really is. 
Two-page presentation of the Eiffel Tower.
The book highlights fifty of the world’s most famous skyscrapers chronologically in two-page combinations with a stunning black and white photograph of the skyscraper on the left side and a description and interesting information about the building on the right side.

I’ve had personal experiences with some of these skyscrapers.  When my high school senior class visited Washington, DC in the mid fifties, several classmates and I walked all the way up and all the way down the 897 steps of the Washington Monument, and I developed blisters on my feet.

My favorite of all the skyscrapers in this book is the Chrysler Building in New York a photo of which graces the cover of the book.  It is the most beautiful example of Art Deco architecture I have ever seen, and the Art Deco theme is evident in the interior as well.  
The beautiful spire of the Chrysler Building. (Photo from Wikipedia).
When we were in Paris in the 80s Dan and Patrick coaxed me into taking the elevator up the Eiffel Tower.  I say coaxed because I have extreme acrophobia, and when we got off the elevator at the second level, I became so dizzy that while the two of them were enjoying their view of Paris, I was sitting on the floor leaning back against a wall as far from the overlook as I could get.
Eiffel tower. (Photo from Wikipedia).
This book was published in 1996 and included the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.  I never visited the WTC, but I guess we all experienced it vicariously as we watched in horror as the towers crashed to the ground on 9/11.
The Twin Towers. (Photo from Wikipedia).
I discovered that Judith Dupre has published an updated version of this book where she includes fifteen more skyscrapers.  With my acrophobia, the best way for me to enjoy skyscrapers is not on site but through a book, so I've ordered her update.  The book should be here any day now, and I'll be relishing my visits to tall buildings once again.

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