Saturday, January 3, 2009

Horizontal Cities of 2031 (1931)

The December 6, 1931 Daily Capital News and Post-Tribune (Jefferson City, MO) ran a short blurb about Francis Keally's predictions for the city of 2031. Keally (1889-1978) was an architect who worked on the Oregon state capitol building in Salem, which was completed in 1938.
Francis Keally thinks that our future cities will spread out over great areas like monstrous eagles. One hundred years from today we shall have no batteries of skyscrapers to point out to our trans-Atlantic visitors. On the contrary our future cities, because of the aerial eye, will be flat-topped, and two out of every three buildings will serve as some kind of landing area for a super-auto gyroplane or a transcontinental express. What towers there are will be built at a great distance from the airports and will serve as mooring masts for giant dirigibles. The architects of our future aerial cities may have to go back to places like Constantinople and Fez for their inspiration of these future flat-topped aerial cities where one finds a low horizontal character to the entire city, occasionally broken here and there by a praying tower or a minaret.

Francis Keally also had an idea in the August, 1931 issue of Modern Mechanics for glass banks.

Previously on Paleo-Future:
The Family Plane of 2030 A.D. (1930)
Pictures Stately Edifices (1923)


Anonymous said...

I notice the 'glass banks' link got a bit of flak. Notably, HSBC has gone with a very glassy modernist design for all their new franchises in, at least, New England, and I notice TD is also moving to a corporate look with a lot of glass in the front (unless this was inherited in properties from one of their acquisitions).

Of course, both of these make use of opaque partitions to lesser or greater extents. The building shown actually reminds me of some 'grand old banks' (like the Bank of America in downtown Stamford, CT) that have extremely open floor-plans, not unlike that proposal. Prior to the ATM and direct deposits, perhaps they had to accommodate much longer lines?

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