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Media Capital Architecture and Communications in New York City by Aurora Wallace

Media Capital Architecture and Communications in New York City

Part of the History of Communication Series


Media Capital Architecture and Communications in New York City by Aurora Wallace

In a declaration of the ascendance of the American media industry, nineteenth-century press barons in New York City helped to invent the skyscraper, a quintessentially American icon of progress and aspiration. Early newspaper buildings in the country's media capital were designed to communicate both commercial and civic ideals, provide public space and prescribe discourse, and speak to class and mass in equal measure. This book illustrates how the media have continued to use the city as a space in which to inscribe and assert their power. With a unique focus on corporate headquarters as embodiments of the values of the press and as signposts for understanding media culture, Media Capital demonstrates the mutually supporting relationship between the media and urban space. Aurora Wallace considers how architecture contributed to the power of the press, the nature of the reading public, the commercialization of media, and corporate branding in the media industry. Tracing the rise and concentration of the media industry in New York City from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, Wallace analyzes physical and discursive space, as well as labor, technology, and aesthetics, to understand the entwined development of the mass media and late capitalism.


News buffs and urban planners alike will appreciate . . . Media Capital: Architecture and Communications in New York City, which explores the landmarks - a few still surviving - that media moguls built to validate their dominance. --The New York Times

This is an innovative and exciting account that broadens our understanding of the intersections of media and architecture. --New York History This exciting study broadens our horizons dramatically in an emerging area of scholarly interest for mass communication historians. It will be ideal for students and readers interested in media history, architectural history, and New York City history. --Patrick S. Washburn, author of The African American Newspaper: Voice of Freedom

Media Capital creatively uses architecture to elucidate newspapers
marketing strategies and engagement with audiences, contributing to the business history of New York City

's stories press and to reception studies. Media Capital should prompt communication historians to examine more closely the built environment surrounding news production and reception, especially in places far from New York City. --The Journal of American History Will appeal both to scholars of the history of journalism and to students of built environments. It is wonderfully illustrated and draws on a range of historical documents. --Library Journal

Aurora Wallace tells a very compelling story about the 'media architecture'
that materialized in New York around the newspaper industry from the early nineteenth century to now. Lively and filled with scholarly detail, Media Capital is an essential book for our understanding of modern culture

. --Ben Highmore, author of Cityscapes: Cultural Readings in the Material and Symbolic City

About the Author

Aurora Wallace is a professor in the department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University and the author of Newspapers and the Making of Modern America.

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Book Info

Publication date

23rd October 2012


Aurora Wallace

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University of Illinois Press


192 pages


Public buildings: civic, commercial, industrial, etc
Media, information & communication industries



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