Archive
Architecture
Homes Reflect Owners’ Curious Whims (Jul, 1934)

Homes Reflect Owners’ Curious Whims

TAKING their cue from the celebrated old woman who lived in a shoe, modern home builders, moved by whims or necessity, have fashioned strange dwellings which outrival the most fantastic nursery rhyme.

Perched on the sands of a southern California beach, for instance, is an ocean-going yacht which has never put to sea. It was built as a home, not a ship; yet the nautical influence is complete from ladder entrance and porthole windows to a dummy anchor which has been dropped overboard into the sand. Bunks are substituted for bedrooms and the stern is arranged for garage space.

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Tiny Prompter for Public Speakers (Feb, 1932)

Tiny Prompter for Public Speakers

A PROMPTING device consisting of a reel of paper, on which notes are typed, contained in a case small enough to be held unseen in the palm of the hand, has been patented by a railway official who was embarrassed by lack of notes in making public addresses. A small wheel turned by the thumb operates the paper reel.

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Mud Skyscrapers of Desert Built Long before Log Cabin (Jun, 1936)

Mud Skyscrapers of Desert Built Long before Log Cabin
Mud skyscrapers that were hundreds of years old when log cabins began to dot the American wilderness still stand in the ancient city of Shibam in southern Arabia. The modern steel skyscraper is only fifty years old. Shibam was a thriving city of tall buildings in the time of the Queen of Sheba, and still is a busy desert metropolis today. So constructed as to withstand the raids of hostile Arab tribesmen, with windows high above the ground, the Shibam skyscrapers were of mud mixed with straw and maize, dried and hardened by the desert sun.

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SKYSCRAPERS DOOMED by UNDERGROUND CITIES? (Jul, 1934)

SKYSCRAPERS DOOMED by UNDERGROUND CITIES?

by WILLIAM JENNINGS

SAFE from bomb attacks—free from disease and changing temperatures—living in cities a mile beneath the surface of the earth—such is the dream of science for the man of the future, a not impractical dream which may doom the towers of Manhattan and every other large city to destruction.

Despite its towering skyline, the trend of building construction in New York City has been ever downward. Today the island of Manhattan and its surroundings are honeycombed with a vast network of underground facilities. There are more than 130 tunnels and underground areas in the metropolitan district; more than 2800 miles in the subterranean sewage system, and about GOO miles of subway trackage carrying 5,000,000 passengers every day.

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Grotesque Figures Carved on Modern Skyscrapers (Oct, 1933)

Grotesque Figures Carved on Modern Skyscrapers

A BOY with a bean shooter, a lone fisherman, rats climbing up hawsers are among the strange objects that be found upon modern skyscrapers or apartment houses. Thousands of people have passed through the buildings thus adorned without ever having seen these figures, or if seen there was no recognition of their purpose. Sometimes the architect has played a joke upon the unsuspecting owner, installing a queer figure in so inaccessible a place that only a person with a telescope could examine it.

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The MAGIC Palace of RADIO CITY (Feb, 1934)

The MAGIC Palace of RADIO CITY

JUST a few weeks ago in a building covering three New York City blocks from Forty Eighth to Fifty First street, tycoons of the electrical, radio, motion picture, entertainment and art world sat down in company with 1200 select guests to dedicate the completion of the Rockefeller financed monument to the 13 year old industry of broadcasting—Radio City.

Built to accommodate and anticipate rapidly outgrown and outgrowing needs of the broadcasting industry, this modern engineering wonder tops all superlatives. The industry it represents has grown the fastest toward national import, in the shortest space of any industry of our time. The first national broadcast occurred but 13 years ago when Dr. Frank Conrad, of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company put on the air the events of the Harding election from station KDKA, set up informally in his garage in Pittsburgh. The building is our biggest, has the most “mosts.”

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Strange Bridges (May, 1929)

Strange Bridges

A shopping district is housed in the Ponte Vecchio, over the Arno River at Florence Italy. The roofed bridge is lined with stores’ Building this viaduct across the gorge of a small stream near Nice, France, engineers saw that a central vertical support would clog the gorge. So they devised an unusual masonry arch support set at right angles to the span.

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Passing the 1,000 Foot Mark (Jan, 1931)

Passing the 1,000 Foot Mark

HIGHER and higher soar the metropolitan skyscrapers as if aspiring to pierce the clouds and support the very heavens. The latest of these massive monoliths to rear its huge bulk on the New York skyline is the Empire State Building on Fifth Avenue at 34th Street. The claim is made for it that it is the tallest structure of any kind in the world. From the street to the roof of the 84th floor is 1043 feet, not including the observatory roof above this level or the mooring mast designed to extend 200 feet higher. There are 85 stories above 34th street arid two stories below the grade. The land and building are valued at $50,000,000.

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Your Own Inflatable Dome: Make It from a Kit (Jul, 1973)

Your Own Inflatable Dome: Make It from a Kit

PS brings bubble buildings into the realm of the do-it-yourselfer: Take your choice of kits in three sizes—or start from scratch if you like By A. J. HAND / PS Home Workshop Editor

You’ve read about the new air-supported buildings that can cover hundreds of acres [PS, Mar. "73]. Now take a look at some pneumatics designed with you in mind. They’re inexpensive, easy to build, and adaptable to a whole range of uses.

The basic single-skin plastic dome, inflated by a small blower, can be used as a studio, greenhouse, pool cover, outdoor rec room, camping or vacation shelter, portable classroom, or storage facility.

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‘Golf Tees’ Support Roof of Windowless Office (Aug, 1939)

I love the fact that Frank Lloyd Wright called the air intakes he designed “nostrils”.

‘Golf Tees’ Support Roof of Windowless Office

Above you see no model of building of future, but the office of S. C. Johnson & Son, Racine, Wis. Two air intakes at top are called “nostrils” by architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Skylights and unseen fixtures supply light in the windowless building.

Above, the circular “bird-cage” elevator. Radiant floors heat the building, steam pipes being laid under the four-inch concrete slab. Without a conventional front door, entrance is through a roofed-over auto driveway. Near by is a “carport” for parking, and on its roof a theater and a squash court.

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