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New York, Empire City 1920-1945 (Abrams, £19.95) springs from the chance discovery of a cache of negatives in a New Jersey studio. Taken by a firm of architectural photographers called Peyser and Patzig, they record New York during a period which saw the opening of the Rockefeller Center, the construction of the Chrysler Building, and the staging of the 1939 World's Fair.

Far left: the Empire State Building seen from the Second Avenue El. Left: the wedge-shaped Beaver Building, still standing near Wall Street.

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