Gathering in New York City to celebrate LAI New York Board member, LEF Treasurer, and Author Jason Barr’s Book Launch with The Wall Street Journal reporter Konrad Putzier and LAI International leaders

Article authored by:

Christopher Deutsch
President, New York Chapter



LAI New York Chapter held a special gathering on May 15, 2024 at Rizzoli Bookstore on Broadway and 26th Street, where our chapter's very own Vice President Jason Barr released his new book Cities In The Sky: The Quest to Build the World’s Tallest Skyscrapers.

His Publisher Scribner Books states:

Skyscrapers have brought us awe and wonder, and yet they remain controversial—for their high costs, shadows, and overt grandiosity. But, decade by decade, they keep getting higher and higher. What is driving this global building spree of epic proportions? Cities in the Sky explores why we are building ever upward in the 21st century.

Barr travels across time and space, from Chicago in the 1880s, to New York in the 1920s, to London’s past and present, and then onto Hong Kong, Mainland China, and the Arabian Peninsula. Barr then takes a global view to see why the quest to build up is as fierce as ever and why skyscrapers remain so controversial. Finally, Barr closes with possible scenarios for the future.

Filled with fascinating details for urbanists, architecture buffs, and urban design enthusiasts alike, Cities in the Sky addresses the good, bad, and ugly for cities that have embraced vertical skylines.

At the book launch gathering, Jason was interviewed by Konrad Putzier of The Wall Street Journal where he elaborated on the economics and stories surrounding some of the world's tallest buildings and provided insight into the physical and financial requirements for buildings of this nature.  

More than 100 real estate professionals, professors, students, and journalists were in attendance to join in the discussion.  We enjoyed entertaining our out-of-town LAI guests including International Vice President Craig Binning (Simcoe), Immediate Past President Gary Leach (Boston), Regional Vice President Susannah Bergmann (Baltimore), Assistant Regional Vice President Faroll Hamer (George Washington) as well as LAI Fellow Ian Lord (Simcoe), and a handful of members from the Baltimore and George Washington Chapters. 

Thanks again to our sponsors: LAI International, Todd Hay from Pennoni Energy Consultants, Jeff Beal of Real Estate Solutions, and Michael Lappin of MLappin and Associates for helping make this event happen.

Congratulations, Jason!  

Bio: Jason Barr is a professor of economics at Rutgers University-Newark. One of the world’s foremost experts on the economics of skyscrapers, he is the author of Building the Skyline: The Birth and Growth of Manhattan Skyscrapers (2016). His research has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Economist,, and Architectural Record. A Long Island native, Barr received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, his MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. His writings have appeared in The New York Times,,, Scientific American, and the Irish Independent. He currently writes the Skynomics Blog, a blog about skyscrapers, cities, and economics.

Photos courtesy of: William Barr, Scott Bloom, Anthony Berti


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