“New York City as It Will Be in 1999”

Well, not exactly. But aside from the spaceship-like flying machines, the skyscraper-packed island isn’t so far off the mark.

It was published in the New York World on December 30, 1900. The Skyscraper Museum has a fascinating writeup about it, which was part of an exhibit on future New York:

“Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World was one of the most widely read newspapers of its day. The Sunday edition, which could sell as many as half a million or more copies around the United States, was filled with colorful artwork, cartoons, and cultural commentary.

“At the turn of the twentieth century, one of the World‘s most popular illustrators, Louis Biedermann, speculated on the future New York in 1999 in a lavish two-page spread that pictured Manhattan solidly packed with skyscrapers, including behemoth towers at least a hundred-stories tall, sporting landing platforms of airships.

“At a time when there were no controls on high-rise development, Biedermann’s illustration exaggerated present trends and technologies and reflected both the fascination and fears of unconstrained growth.”

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12 Responses to ““New York City as It Will Be in 1999””

  1. aspicco Says:

    wish the pic was bigger, but thanks!

  2. fdr Says:

    All those piers along the waterfront are gone too.

  3. fivepointsguy Says:

    Fantastic! Thanks for posting this. And great speculation on Biederman’s part. He seems to have anticipated the exact positions of the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges, as well as the 59th Street bridge.There’s even a bridge to Jersey! It’s interesting how the twin tower structures in the central foreground (linked by skybridges) are pretty much topped off like the Singer Tower which you discussed in the other day’s edition. And Andrew Green approved of it all.

  4. flyingcuttlefish Says:

    That building on the East River looks just like the UN!
    Would this artist ever be surprised that the subways still use 1920’s switches and electrical systems!

  5. James norton Says:

    Helicopters might be the sky ships? There are helipads on many buildings.

  6. Bob_in_MA Says:

    I’m fairly certain the Williamsburg bridge was already under construction.

    I read the Brooklyn Eagle for December 30th, 1900, the other day and it had a long section with “experts” predictions of what the new century would bring.

    One guy predicts automobiles and “airships” would be big, which was really prescient considering autos of the time were seen as toys and the Wright brothers wouldn’t take off for a few years yet.

  7. Marco Says:

    He forgot the DunkinDonuts-Starbucks-Subway-MickeyD-BurgerKing-KFC-BaskinRobbins-Domino’s-GoldenKrust-PopEyes-Carvel food court.

  8. Roger T Says:

    This post got picked up by Curbed!


  9. Elsewhere « Visualingual Says:

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  10. Jayson Says:

    Lols where are the Twin Towers? XD

  11. Pip Says:

    Bullshift. There is no significant landmass south-east-south of Manhattan.

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