Offices in the Sky
Offices in the Sky
Not often enough do we Americans pause to reflect on the greatness of our country or to compile our own inventories of those national qualities and characteristics which we would most like to see forever preserved. Our eyes are toward the future; seldom do we take the long backward look to measure our progress or to give due credit to those bold spirits who have gone before and who have made us what we are.
Especially is this true for those of us whose daily lives are spent in the seething complexity--yet the grandeur--of the great cities.
For the most part, we who throng the office buildings of New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh and the like, are foster sons, small-town people at heart, who have been caught up in the vortex of the big city by inexorable circumstance.
What we see about us we take altogether for granted, as we did the mountains and the forests where we were born. When we drive a car down a magnificent thoroughfare like Michigan Avenue in Chicago, our eyes are on the bumper of the car ahead and our thoughts on the problem of the day. Never do we ask who planned all this, who made it possible. As we hurry to keep an appointment in that great office building which towers toward the sky, we plunge through the swinging door and dash for the elevator, completely unaware of the genius displayed in its planning or the courage manifested in its construction.
Yet nothing more solidly expresses the American concept of an economy that rests upon individual initiative and responsibility than the skyline of New York or Chicago, Seattle or San Francisco. Project the contours of those roofs and towers against the afterglow of the setting sun, as I have done for Chicago from five miles out in Lake Michigan, and you have before you the whole inspiring drama of free enterprise. No government subsidy here; no protection from competition by tariffs or import quotas; no asking the general taxpayer to underwrite the risks of over-