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Welcome to the Paleofuture blog, where we explore past visions of the future. From flying cars and jetpacks to utopias and dystopias.

The Metropolis of Tomorrow (1929)

The Hugh Ferriss book The Metropolis of Tomorrow, originally published in 1929, is an amazing work broken up into three parts: Cities of Today, Projected Trends, and An Imaginary Metropolis. Needless to say, the last section is most intriguing for our purposes.

The image below is a radial design for a city that pops up many times in the succeeding years, notably in Walt Disney's original design for EPCOT.The first center to be seen is that structure, or complex of structures, in which the control of the business activities of the cities is housed. Here is located the seat of government of the city's practical affairs, including its three chief branches - legislative, judiciary and executive.

At this closer view we can distinguish in greater detail the characteristics of the tower-buildings. The tower itself rises directly over the intersection of two of the master highways to a height of 1200 feet. There are eight flanking towers, half this height, which, with their connecting wings, enclose four city blocks. The center extends, however, over eight adjoining blocks, where its supplementary parts rise to a height of twelve stories.

We see, upon examining the Avenue, that more than one level for traffic is provided. Local wheel traffic is on the ground level; express traffic is depressed; pedestrians pass on a separate plane above.

Beyond the center, the lower districts of the city are visible, together with the radial avenues which lead to the other tower-buildings of the Business district.

Hubert H. Humphrey's Year 2000 (1967)

Connections: AT&T's Vision of the Future (Part 3, 1993)