Monday, June 28, 2010

A One-Block Journey Into The (Retro-) Future

For a brief, but awe-inspiring, sample of what the City of the Future was supposed to look like, walk down East 24th St. in Manhattan between Park and Madison in the direction of Madison Square Park (actually, at certain times of day, it's even better to start a block further east).  You'll walk between, and be dwarfed by, the Met Life Tower and the Met Life North building.  Although the buildings were designed and constructed decades apart, the effect is one of immersion in a single architectural vision.  You have to look up for the effect to be complete, since, for me, the sky bridge spanning 24th St. is the key element of the composition.

I don't think I've ever photographed this block, but in any case, it has to be experienced in person.  Google Street View will give you a taste, though.

Bonus Links
The Met Life North building was begun in 1928, one year after Metropolis (coincidence???), and topped out about 70 stories short of its originally intended 100-story height.  Here's a rendering of the original, uncompleted design.

3 comments:

Eric said...

Speaking of Google Street View have you seen horse boy?

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=&vps=3&jsv=250a&sll=57.129322,-2.115169&sspn=0.007081,0.022681&g=16+Hardgate,+Aberdeen,+United+Kingdom&ie=UTF8&geocode=FYe5ZwMdm7nf_w&split=0

Steve said...

I'm getting "image no longer available" when I try to go to the spot. Somebody must have it archived somewhere.

Eric said...

If you move closer to the intersection you should be able to see him