• Garment worker laying out fabric to prepare for cutting

    Credit: ILGWU Collection, Cornell University Archive

    Garment worker laying out fabric to prepare for cutting

Before there were today’s fashion designers Betsey Johnson, Oscar de la Renta, and Diane von Furstenberg in the 18 blocks of New York City’s Garment District, there were architects: Schwartz & Gross, Buchman & Kahn, and Emery Roth. In the '20s, these architects and others created more than 125 stepped-back, pyramidal, loft buildings—the largest concentration of skyscrapers in the world. Inside, nearly three-fourths of all U.S. women's and children's apparel was produced. In Urban Fabric: Building New York's Garment District, the Skyscraper Museum explores the transformation from the ‘20s to today, when the focus has moved from manufacturing to design and marketing. Through Jan. 2013. • skyscraper.org