The first thing that has to catch your eye is that the book is long and thin and shaped like a skyscraper. Almost simultaneously, you notice that the photograph on the front cover is none other than Cleveland's Key Tower, the work of architect Cesar Pelli.
If that is not enough to get your attention you start to fan through the pages and cannot help but be impressed with the awesome photos of 50 of the tallest buildings in the country.
As Mull tells us, the first "skyscraper" was built in 1885 in Chicago and was only 10 stories high - 138 feet. It is now dwarfed by the city's Sears Tower at 1451 ft. What makes a skyscraper a skyscraper? According to Mull there is no set height, and yet we all know one when we see one.
Seeing them through the lens of Eric Mull is fascinating - much more fascinating, in fact, then one might have expected. After all, a big book of pictures of big buildings is not rock star material. But it is fascinating and beautifully done. I think anyone who picks it up will find themselves paging through to the very end without even realizing it.
Men only need so many ties and pairs of socks. Women would really rather pick out their own clothes and perfume. If you are looking for a unique gift with historical merit as well as aesthetic artistry, you would be wise to consider "The American Skyscraper" on your gift list.
Reviewed by Debbie Hanson
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