New Architecture and City Planning: A Symposium

By Paul Zucker | Go to book overview

DEPARTMENT STORES AND OFFICE BUILDINGS OF THE FUTURE

By
ELY JACQUES KAHN

To bracket Department Stores and Office Buildings together is logical only if one starts with the premise that they come into being because both groups are supposed to produce revenue and are presumably commercial structures.

The department store, like the office building, does not necessarily imply a tall structure. It is, however, clear that in the larger cities, where the more important buildings would be erected, land costs automatically would demand structures of several stories and quite possibly of a considerable number. So as not to confuse the issue, we will discuss the office building in more detail, bearing in mind that many of the characteristics of this variety of structure apply to the department store as well.

It has been widely acclaimed that the day of the tall office building is past; that those which have been erected were financial failures and were anti-social in spirit, in that they drew hordes of people to certain congested spots to the eventual harm to the owners of other properties. It is perhaps necessary to note that the basic reason for the development of the office building was economic and to a very limited degree, a desire to produce a monument that would enhance the city's skyline. The fallacy, of course, in the favored development of certain areas of our big cities was the assumption that there was no limit to the demand for space, and more important, that the rights and privileges of one's neigh

-29-

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