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Digital Modelling for Urban Design by Brian McGrath

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Chapter 1

Archaeology

The floor of the New York Stock Exchange was unusually full of activity over one weekend in 1981. Instead of the frantic shouts and rush of stock traders, brokers and their clerks and regulators that accompanies the normal weekday frenzy on the floor of the ‘Big Board’, this spring weekend saw a rush of movers and construction workers. The old wooden desks, counters and cabinets that filled George B Post's 14,000-square-foot neoclassical trading room were hurriedly dismantled and dumped outside, along with the litter of left-over paper trails. Suddenly from above, circular UFO-like objects with bright lights underneath were lowered from the 72-foot-high ceiling, like a scene from the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

When the stock traders left work on Friday, they conducted their last trades by paper. When they next arrived on Monday morning they began to trade within a computer network called the Intermarket Trading System (ITS) that linked several major US stock exchanges for the first time in 1978. Post's 1903 building was designated a National Historic Landmark two months later. By the end of 2006, the New York Stock Exchange had significantly reduced its space for physical trading of stocks and introduced its Hybrid Market for expanded electronic trading traders could now fly through a virtual trading floor, observing trading activity and monitoring the markets in a 3-D modelling environment. The New York Stock Exchange Advanced Trading Floor ...

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