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New York 1901 is a skyscraper building game based in New York City at the turn of the 20th century. Your objective is to develop the preeminent real estate empire in NYC by acquiring land and building skyscrapers to score points.

On your turn, before you build, you will be given the option to either expand your estate by acquiring new territory or to demolish your standing buildings to replace them with better ones.

The player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.


  • 1 Game Board
  • 5 Character Cards
  • 5 Streets of New York Cards
  • 5 Bonus Challenge Cards
  • 65 Territory Cards
  • 4 Skyscraper Score Tokens (1 per player)
  • 16 Workers (4 per player)
  • 4 King Tokens (1 per player)
  • 12 Action Cards (3 per player)
  • 76 Skyscrapers (19 per player, including 1 Starter Building)
  • 4 Legendary Skyscrapers

The Game Board:

  • Districts: The Game Board is divided into 5 Districts repre- sented by the different colored areas on the board.

  • Territories: There are 13 Territories in each District, marked by the solid lines (dotted lines are only used to aid with the placement of Skyscrapers within Territories). Territories come in two sizes: Size-2 Territories and Size-3 Territories. Size-3 Territories have flowers printed on them so they can be easily found on the board.

  • Streets: Five important streets are printed in different colors to help identify them. These streets have the potential to score points at the end of the game (based on which Streets of New York Cards are drawn).

  • Scoring Track: The Scoring Track around the perimeter of the board keeps track of each player's score during the game and indicates when new Generations of Technology are unlocked.

  • Estate: Your Estate is the total combined area of all the Territories you have acquired on the board. You must Build all of your Skyscrapers within the boundary of your Estate.

Note: You can Build across different colored Territories as long as they are part of your Estate.


Workers represent your ownership of a Territory, preventing other players from Building there.

Score Tokens:

King Tokens:

Territory Cards:

The deck of Territory Cards corresponds exactly to the Territories available on the Game Board. On your turn, you can acquire one of the faceup Territory Cards to Expand your Estate.

Character Cards:

  • Character Cards determine where your Starter Building is placed during Set Up, based on the colored symbol printed on each card.

  • Each of the 5 colors on the Character Cards refer to the 5 Districts on the Game Board. The colors on the Character Cards do not refer to the color of your pieces.

Streets Of New York Cards:

The Streets of New York Cards deter- mine which streets will reward you an additional 5 points if you have the most Skyscrapers standing on them at the end of the game.

Bonus Challenge Cards:

Bonus Challenge Cards provide an additional opportunity to score points each game. (Refer to page 8).

Action Cards:

Action Cards give you a one-time bonus action on the turn they are used.



Each Skyscraper in this game represents a real-world skyscraper that was at one point standing in New York City.

  • Skyscrapers are added to the board to score points during the Build step of your turn. The number printed on each Skyscraper represents the number of points you will score when you Build it. The color printed around that number represents that Skyscraper's Generation of Technology.

  • Generations of Technology: There are three Generations of Technology: bronze, silver, and gold level. In the beginning of the game, players can only Build bronze level Skyscrapers. As they progress along the Scoring Track, each player eventually unlocks silver and gold level technology for themselves (as indicated on the Scoring Track).

Note: In the base game, players unlock silver level technology at 6 points and gold level at 18.

Legendary Skyscrapers:

The 4 Legendary Skyscrapers are unique gold level Skyscrapers. They are treated exactly as other gold level Skyscrapers, except that they are communal (first come, first served).

If you have the Estate to fit one, you can Build one of the Legendary Skyscrapers as normal during the Build step of your turn. You will then place one of your King Tokens on top of it to signify that it belongs to you.

Note: Each player can only Build one Legendary Skyscraper per game.

Starter Buildings:

Starter Buildings claim an initial Territory for you on the board. They are treated just like normal Skyscrapers, except they do not score points when you place them during Set Up, and they are of a Generation of Technology inferior to bronze.


When playing with 2 players:

Before beginning Set Up, remove the Character Card for David Schneider along with all the pink Territory Cards, and place them back in the box (they will not be used this game).

  • Place the Game Board in the center of the table, and arrange the 4 black Legendary Skyscrapers next to it, within reach of all players.
  • Give each player a set of components in their color: 18 Skyscrapers, 1 Starter Building, 4 Workers, 1 King Token, 3 Action Cards, and 1 Score Token.
  • Place your Score Token on the 0-square of the Scoring Track.
  • Set your 3 Action Cards faceup in front of you, next to your Workers and King Token.
  • Randomly deal out 3 Streets of New York Cards and 1 Bonus Challenge Card faceup next to the Game Board.
  • Give 1 Character Card to each player.
  • Place your Starter Building on the size-2 Territory that matches the symbol found on the upper-right corner of your Character Card.
  • Remove a Territory Card from the deck of Territory Cards that matches your Territory's color and size, and place it on top of your Character Card.

Important: You must remove Territory Cards so that the deck corresponds exactly to the Territories remaining on the board.

  • Shuffle the remaining Territory Cards together and deal out 4 faceup cards to form the Open Market. Keep the remaining cards in a facedown pile referred to as the Future Market.

  • Determine a starting player. We recommend the starting player be whoever most recently left New York City, or who most recently returned there (if you happen to be playing in the city).

Game Play

Play proceeds in a clockwise direction.

On your turn, you will advance your Estate by choosing to either:

  1. Expand
  2. Demolish
  3. Build.

I. Expand

If you have an available Worker at the start of your turn, then you can take one of the faceup Territory Cards from the Open Market and place it on top of your Character Card (to keep track of your growing Estate).

Then place a Worker on top of a Territory on the board that matches both the color and size of the Territory Card you acquired this turn.

Note: You cannot claim a Territory on the board that is already a part of another player's Estate.

When you claim a Territory, it becomes part of your Estate for the rest of the game. During the Build step, you are free to Build anywhere within your Estate, following the Rules of Construction.

After your Expand step is complete, replenish the Open Market back to 4 cards. Then you may proceed to the Build step OR pass the turn to the next player (you may choose to NOT Build this turn).

II. Demolish

Replace your standing Skyscraper(s) with 1 superior Skyscraper. Choose which Skyscraper you will construct on your Estate during your Build step later this turn, then remove all your Skyscrapers (and Workers) that fall under its footprint.

Important: All the Skyscrapers you Demolish must be of a Generation of Technology inferior to the Skyscraper you will Build later this turn (bronze < silver < gold).

Return all the demolished Skyscrapers back to the box, they can no longer be used this game. You do not lose points for removing them.

If Demolishing and Building a new Skyscraper would leave some of the Territories in your Estate vacant (with neither Workers nor Skyscrapers in them), you MUST place one of your Workers in each of the vacated Territories. If you do not have enough Workers to do so, then you may NOT perform that Demolish action this turn.

After your Demolish step is complete, proceed to the Build step (you MUST Build this turn).

III. Build

  • Add one of your unbuilt Skyscrapers to available space in your Estate, following all the Rules of Construction.

  • Reclaim any Workers in Territories that you built in this turn.

  • Score the points printed on the Skyscraper you built by advancing your Score Token on the Scoring Track based on the number printed on the Skyscraper.

  • After your Build step is complete, play passes to the next player.

Green can only build on land in his Estate. He places a 2-square skyscraper and scores 2 points (then reclaims his Worker).

Rules Of Construction

  • Skyscrapers must fit entirely within your Estate.

  • You must have unlocked a Skyscraper's Generation of Technology before you can add it to the Game Board. (Refer to page 3).

  • Skyscrapers must touch either a street or a park (corners do not count).

  • Skyscrapers may be built across multiple Territories and Districts.

  • Skyscrapers do not need to completely fill the Territories they are built in. Players reclaim their Worker even when a Territory is only partially filled.

  • Skyscrapers cannot be built on top of other Skyscrapers (except when Demolishing).

End of the Game

The end of the game is triggered when either:

  • One player has only 4 unbuilt Skyscrapers remaining in front of them OR
  • There are only 3 cards remaining in the Open Market, and the Future Market is empty.

When you trigger the end of the game, you will complete your final turn. Each other player will then take one final turn, before the game proceeds to the Scoring Phase.


  • During the Scoring Phase, you will score additional points for the Streets of New York Cards, the Bonus Challenge Cards, and the Action Cards which you did not use during the game.

  • Streets of New York:

    The 3 Streets of New York Cards each reward 5 points to the player with the most Skyscraper Tokens. In the case of a tie, no player scores the points.

    Note: If a Skyscraper touches more than one street, then it counts toward winning the Streets of New York challenge for all of the streets it touches.

  • Bonus Challenge Cards:

    Score points for the Bonus Challenge Card (Refer to page 8).

  • Action Cards:

    Score one additional point for each unused Action Card remaining faceup in front of you.

The player with the most points wins.

In the case of a tie, the player with the tallest Legendary Skyscraper (as indicated by the height printed on it) is the winner.

If the tied players have not built a Legendary Skyscraper, then the player with the most gold Skyscrapers wins the tie. If there is still a tie, then the tied players share the victory.

Uncommon Situations

If you have no available Workers at the start of your turn, and you cannot or do not wish to Demolish, then you can skip the Expand step, and go straight to the Build step instead.

Note: If you do have available Workers and you cannot or do not wish to Demolish, then you must claim a new Territory on your turn.

If you have no available Workers at the start of your turn AND you cannot Build (or Demolish) on your turn, then you MUST reclaim one of your Workers from the board and return a corresponding Territory Card from the top of your Character Card back to the bottom of the Future Market, then pass the turn to the next player.

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