“Paper money was the death of Christ”
This post touches on ideas like consumerism, religion and theocracy, like this previous article.
I believe the tallest buildings in a city represent the values that city or culture holds dear.
The earliest structures now known to be the tallest in the world were the Egyptian pyramids
From the 1200s until 1901, the world’s tallest building was always a church or cathedral.
Once steel technology advanced, we developed skyscrapers to house our most important institutions. However, the type of business(!) contained within those walls changed. We went from theocracy and churches to consumerism and financial buildings.
More goodness from Wikipedia: seven of the ten tallest buildings in Los Angeles house banking, investment or insurance companies. I count five out of ten in New York. Across the entire United States, seven of the ten tallest buildings are in these sectors.
One of my favorite paintings is The Starry Night by van Gogh. During his time, religion was still strong and dominated culture. The blue and white church represents his faith. The gnarled mass of brown covering the left half is a cypress tree, which symbolized mourning or death. I imagine critical eyes denounced his depiction of the church as less-than-supreme.
If van Gogh was alive today, would he have painted a cypress towering over a Deutsche Bank?