American Cities That Almost Got It Wright

[image via wired]

Middle Eastern cities reaching higher into the skies every week and continue to turn pre-dysopic set-pieces from Bladerunner or the Jetsons. In times such as these, Wired thought it’d be a good idea to look at some earlier ambitious plans — the enormous “what-ifs” of modern architecture. The above example, for instance, is Frank Lloyd Wright’s effort to poke out the eyes of god, a Chicago tower known as The Illinois. To set the stage for this Midwestern retro-futurescape, Wired whipped up a fictious sci-fi inspired narrative

Almost everything below the 50th floor is an elevator lobby, and almost everything above the 300th floor is perpetually covered in vomit due to the skyscraper’s oscillations — it moves in 40-foot circles at its tip. It’s such a chore getting from one end of it to the other that we didn’t even evacuate on 9/11. After all, how could anyone hit a skyscraper that wiggles back and forth like that?

The article reminded me of a previous post on Life Without Buildings — Unbuilt Works Find Life in Art. Specifically, FLW’s unbuilt complex of Ellis Island Key project, a complex of space-age looking apartment buildings for New York’s (in)famous island…


[image via NYT]

The project found life in The Manhattan Guardian, a comic book written by Grant Morrison and published by DC. As you can see in the above image, in the Guardian’s Manhattan, Wright’s design became the home to Century Hollow, “the city’s most unusual science park” in that it is a scaled-down robotic model of Earth—complete with a population of 100—designed to demonstrate global demographics.

&#183 Mile-High Skyscrapers and Floating Cities That Never Were [Wired]
&#183 Unbuilt Works Find Life in Art [Life Without Buildings]