Look at this prediction of a future New York City from 1932. On the lower centre of the painting you can see a very small Empire State Building, which was clearly preserved by the City Fathers to merely provide scale. The building across the road is at least twice as tall and four by six city blocks wide. The one behind it is even taller. Heck, the ornamental carvings holding up the clock are nearly as tall as the Empire State Building! You'll also notice that not only are there sky bridges to keep the proles off the ground and aerodromes on top of various buildings, but one has a hanger big enough to hold several zeppelins!
These people weren't thinking of buildings as buildings, but as little self-