Future New York: “The City of Skyscrapers”

Some predictions about what life in a future New York will be like actually come to pass—while others never make it out of the fantasy stage.

In the fantasy category are the Hudson River bridges proposed in the 1880s and then the 1950s for 23rd Street and 125th Street.

The moving sidewalks dreamed up in 1871 and then again in 1910 also never came to fruition.

But this Walker Evans postcard, from the 1910s, accurately predicted that New York would be a city of skyscrapers.

The trams traveling along interconnected tracks through buildings and the airplanes crowding low in the skies just didn’t pan out, at least not yet.

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4 Responses to “Future New York: “The City of Skyscrapers””

  1. T.J. Connick Says:

    A clever lampoon of this sort of thing was done. It appeared in the March 6, 1907 Puck, from a wood engraving by Albert Levering, bearing the caption, “The Future of Trinity Church”. Instead of turning the gaze up to its dominating situation at the top of Wall Street, we discover the church reduced to Lilliputian dimensions, cowering within an alcove at the base of a Gargantuan skyscraper. It was one of Levering’s many delightful, if slightly acid, concoctions. His work remains remarkably fresh, and is worth a look.

  2. Jacky Ballsns Says:

    The High Line’s traverse through Chelsea buildings looks a lot like the building trains above

  3. David K. M. Klaus Says:

    If you look at the depictions of Metropolis in the Superman animated series of the mid-90s, there a lot of highly elevated highways, just as shown above — evidently fantastic ideas of modern cities have multiple inspirations.

  4. morgen Says:

    En we gaan nog niet naar huis, nog lange niet, tralalala.

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