Thursday, October 27, 2011

Heated City of Abundant Life

This blog has previously addressed utopian views of future cities, and recently we came across a scheme designed by M. Mark Feldman and Olindo Grossi for the Exhibition Salon of various subsidiaries of the American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation. Feldman and Grossi envisioned a future Sixth Avenue, New York City as a glass skyscraper-lined, terraced and heated artery:

"Buildings, built of glass that admits light without images, are set well back from the street and well apart to permit maximum light, and terraces, thus created, are utilized, according to district, for sports, restaurants, etc. All terraces are heated by individual reflectors.

"Street traffic is warmed by radiant heat plates that are worked into the architecture of the buildings just above the ground floor. The plates are flared at the corners to cover the space between buildings.

"Winter and summer sports are available simultaneously in all seasons since the reflectors, which are broadcasters of radiation in winter, become absorbers of heat in summer, or vice versa. Thus skating rinks are installed at the tops of the tallest buildings and other sports, such as swimming, tennis and bowling, below.


"In summer, heat from the sun is turned back from the glass buildings by metallic insulating reflectors that can be rolled in and out at each floor. In restaurants, theatres, etc., special metal backs for chairs and seats are used as an added means of transmitting and reflecting the radiant heat."

As reported in Pencil Points August 1937, pp. 49-50. Many issues of Pencil Points can be made available at Howard-Tilton Memorial Library through the Center for Research Libraries.

1 comment:

lisa Hooper said...

Wow!!!! This sounds supersweet for the 1930s! Benjamin cited architectural visions with somewhat similar plans and expectations for the Parisian Arcades of the late 1800s/early 1900s. very cool.