1916 Zoning Resolution

The New York City 1916 Zoning Resolution was a measure adopted primarily to stop massive buildings such as the Equitable Building (Manhattan) from preventing light and air from reaching the streets below. It established limits in building massing at certain heights, usually interpreted as a series of setbacks and, while not imposing height limits, restricted towers to a percentage of the lot size.

Architectural delineator Hugh Ferriss popularized these new regulations in 1922 through a series of massing studies, clearly depicting the possible forms and how to maximize building volumes. The tiered Art Deco skyscrapers of the 1920s and 1930s are a direct result of this resolution.

By mid-century most new International Style buildings had met the setback requirements by adopting the use of plazas or low-rise buildings surrounding a monolithic tower centered on the site. This approach has been criticized for its hostility [cite news
last = Dunlap
first = David W.
title = At New Trade Center, Seeking Lively (but Secure) Streets
work = New York Times
publisher = The New York Times Company
date = 2006-12-07
url = http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/07/nyregion/07blocks.html
accessdate = 2008-06-06
] and, among other issues, led to the codes being reformed in 1961.


*Ferriss, Hugh. "The Metropolis of Tomorrow", with essay by Carol Willis. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986. Reprint of 1929 edition. ISBN 0910413118.
*http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zonehis.shtml NYC Zoning History
*http://www.greatgridlock.net/NYC/nycadd.html#zone New York Skyscrapers additional info

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