When: Ongoing through Spring 2008
Where: The Skyscraper Museum, 39 Battery Place, New York, NY 10280
New York Modern is the first in a cycle of three related exhibitions, spanning a year, entitled FUTURE CITY: 20 | 21 that will juxtapose a retrospective of American visions of the skyscraper city of the future from the early 20th century with an exploration of Chinese cities today, pursuing the parallel conditions of rapid modernization and urbanization. The second exhibition of the cycle will focus on Hong Kong and New York, and the third, “China Prophecy,” explores 21st-century skyscraper city of Shanghai.
The new Museum of Liverpool that has just opened on...
In the 1920s, though, a new vision of the future swept American culture–a monumental city of towers, multilevel highways, aerial transport, and densely developed commercial districts. Principally the projections of New York architects and planners, this new type of hyper-concentrated urbanism was set forth in dazzling images, not only in professional circles and publications, but in newspapers, books, magazines, art galleries, department stores, and movies.
The inspiration and motivation for these prophecies was the city itself–its soaring buildings, teeming streets, and hurtling subways. In 1925, New York passed London to become the world’s largest metropolis. With a population of nearly six million in the city proper, ten million in the region, New York continued to grow in all directions, but especially in Manhattan where the crowding business districts and lightning pace of the skyscraper boom seemed to promise that every block would soon be built anew. Rockefeller Center, the three-block complex of harmonized buildings, roof gardens, pedestrian zones, and richly mixed uses demonstrated a model for an architect-orchestrated urbanism.