DOWNTOWN NEW YORK: THE ARCHITECTURE OF BUSINESS / THE BUSINESS OF BUILDINGS is the debut event of The Skyscraper Museum, a new institution devoted to highrise building, past, present, and future. Lower Manhattan, the birthplace of the skyscraper, is the logical place to begin such a project, for downtown's towers record more than a century of skyscraper history. The majestic view from the harbor - the world's most famous skyline - the slit canyon of Broadway, and the soaring spires of Wall Street proclaim New YorkÕs status as the "capital of capitalism."

Skyscrapers are more than the architecture of business. Objects of design, sites of construction, places of work, real estate investments - skyscrapers are businesses themselves. This exhibition examines these and other dimensions of tall office buildings.

Some materials displayed have been borrowed from corporate or institutional archives where they have been carefully stored and cataloged, while others have miraculously survived for decades in the offices of building managers, construction companies, or trade associations. Many have been collected by history buffs, saved by heirs, or salvaged by dealers. Too often, though, the historical value of such documents has been little appreciated, and much has been discarded. One aim of The Skyscraper Museum, when it establishes a permanent home, is to become a repository for such disparate items which, seen together, begin to tell the complex story of New York's greatest monuments.

The exhibition text is provided in English and Spanish .