Popular lore had it that the bedrock sitting just below the surface of much of the island, and providing the ideal foundation for tall buildings, falls away in its "gooey middle": thus no skyscrapers.
Not so says Chaban, reporting on the results of a recent study that appeared in The Journal of Economic History, debunking the "Manhattan bedrock myth." "Using 173 random core samples from the Battery to Central Park South, Mr. [Jason] Barr, Troy Tassier and Rossen Trendafilov were able to show that there was no correlation between the depth of bedrock and the likelihood of a skyscrapers construction..."
The authors hypothesize that the true cause of the skyline dip is "not an issue of supply, of where you can build. It's an issue of demand, or where you want to build."