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Quotes of the Day for 1 May 2004 – Skyscrapers

Construction started for the Home Insurance Building at the corner of LaSalle and Adams Streets in Chicago on this day in 1884. The first building to be called a skyscraper, it would soon stand an imposing ten stories tall! On this day in 1931, the somewhat taller (102 stories) Empire State Building was dedicated at Manhattan, the tallest building in the world again. Here on Whidbey we don't have such things, but driving through Seattle last night I saw dozens and here I have a half dozen quotes.

Van's signature


The quotes:

Architecture is the alphabet of giants; it is the largest set of symbols ever made to meet the eyes of men. A tower stands up like a sort of simplified statue, of much more than heroic size.
     - Gilbert Keith Chesterton, 1874 - 1936

A chair is a very difficult object. A skyscraper is almost easier. That is why Chippendale is famous.
     - Mies Van de Rohe, 1886 - 1969

But the power of destiny is something awesome; neither wealth, nor Ares, nor a tower, nor dark-hulled ships might escape it.
     - Sophocles, 497 - 405 BC

A skyscraper is a boast in glass and steel.
     - Mason Cooley

The skyscraper establishes the block, the block creates the street, the street offers itself to man.
     - Roland Barthes, 1915 - 1980

Otis's apparatus recovers the uncounted planes that have been floating in the thin air of speculation and reveals their superiority in a metropolitan paradox: the greater the distance from the earth, the closer the communication with what remains of nature (i.e. light and air). The elevator is the ultimate self-fulfilling prophecy: the further up it goes, the more undesirable the circumstances it leaves behind.
     - Rem Koolhaas


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