From the 1890s to the 1920s, NYC had a craze for roof gardens. Because 1: it was cooler 2: the view and 3: elevators. Mostly elevators.
When the Dakota Building was constructed, the largest apartments were on the lowest two floors. The top two floors were reserved for servants and storage. Elevators were new.
There’s value in looking at technologies we now take totally for granted and seeing how many questions they posed when they were new
A lots of invisible technologies, perhaps. Medicine, plumbing and water are obvious, but how about elevators, cheap light, cheap clothes...
There’s an argument that elevators drove gentrification in Paris (and presumably similar cities) because previously the lower floors were expensive and the upper floors were very cheap, but elevators means the garrets became ‘lofts’ and drove out the poor from bourgeois areas.