SLIDESHOW: A View From the Lift – Next City

SLIDESHOW: A View From the Lift

Watertower, a sculptural tribute to New York’s iconic rooftop reservoirs. Credit: Stewart Mader

In 1854, inventor Elisha Otis demonstrated his design for a safety elevator at the New York Crystal Palace at Reservoir Square (now Bryant Park), setting off an era of unprecedented vertical growth in New York City. Enabled by this new technology, the race to build ever-taller buildings reached a fever-pitch by the early 20th century, exemplified by the fierce rivalry between the Chrysler Building and 40 Wall Street.

The city’s upward expansion has continued unabated ever since. New York and the elevator share a storied history, and one benefit of this relationship is the unique perspective that an elevator can provide — a view above street level, though not quite ariel.

Stewart Mader runs the blog Elevator View, a collection of his photographs taken around New York City. By showcasing the city from vantage points that provide a new and different perspective of its streets and blocks, he hopes to deepen people’s appreciation of the importance and vitality of these urban landscapes.

Below is a slideshow of 10 of his photographs.

Gallery: New York From the Elevator

Tags: new york cityculturebuilt environmentparksskyscrapers