This book is about the design of the facade of 51of America's most extravagant early skyscrapers. Included are the biographies of noted architects and the aristocrats who financed America's first skyscrapers. This book discusses the influences of European aesthetic values in America--and scandals, rogues, and class distinctions. Interpretations by contemporary critics are sprinkled throughout the text. Woven throughout the book are inquiries about the validity of Greek and Roman mythologies and their relationships to ""modern"" America and its spirit of invention and progress. Foreign traditions were challenged by some architects but then accepted by most. Why was it necessary for the long-dead hero of a faraway civilization to be included on the facade of a newly invented American skyscraper? This book tells why.