Drawing, "Study for Maximum Mass Permitted by the 1916 New York Zoning Law, Stage 4", 1922
Black crayon, stumped, pen and black ink, brush and black wash, varnish on illustration board.
Gift of Mrs. Hugh Ferriss. 1969-137-4.
- Designed by Hugh Ferriss
What is this?
Rendering of very dark, monumental high-rise building consisting of tall set back central tower, flanked by two smaller towers, each with set back upper stories. Dramatic "fan" of light rays in background. This is an early proposal for the set back skyscraper form that was to characterize many skyscrapers built from the mid-1920s to the ca. 1950s.
Why is this important?
Ferriss envisioned four orchestrations of the shape of the modern skyscraper, determined by the 1916 New York Zoning Law requiring setbacks to let light into the streets. Ferriss blocked out the building’s form in a greasy crayon, used a paper stump to achieve halftones, and produced highlights with an eraser.