The myth of the American skyscraper

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Decoster, Michael G.
Chiuini, Michele
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Thesis (B. Arch.)
College of Architecture and Planning
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Skyscrapers command the skylines of American cities. The skyscraper as a building type began in the United States in the late 1900's because of technological and economic pressures. However, one often overlooked influence is just as crucial as those two. The American skyscraper was developed in the United States because the country's culture encouraged a building of that type and has come to embody a myth of that same influence.This thesis explores the issue of how and why the skyscraper has taken this meaning. Research has addressed the question of why, while the design project explores the nature of skyscraper design and the question of how.The thesis project is the design of a multi-use skyscraper in downtown Detroit, Michigan on the current site of the Hudson's Department Store. The complex includes a Hudson's Department Store, retail space, office space, the headquarters for the Dayton/Hudson Corporation, hotel and apartments.