> 'Not Tall Enough' Series - The Illinois

My last article was about Broadacre City, a standard piece of territory designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Despite his obsession for dispersion and decentralization, Wright put on Broadacre City some skyscrapers, like the one-mile tower called Illinois. In fact, while individual houses represent the philosophy behind Broadacre, Wright adorned the rest of the landscape with other buildings he projected before.

"Because the Broadacre project was an exploration of horizontal space, a one-mile-high skyscraper might at first seem out of place — but by the 1950s Wright had decided that some cities were 'incorrigible', and that even Broadacre City could use a tall building as a cultural and social hub." 

Individually, Illinois was projected to be built in Chicago, and is described in "A Testament" (1956). It is supposed to be an architectural affront, however Wright justified it by using the same engineering that supports today the very similar Burj Khalifa, or the not-constructed Kingdom Tower. So, Illinois was more than a dream. To climb the 528 stories, Wright proposed as well atomic-powered elevators that could carry 100 people. Every technical detail was thought, but Illinois remains a fantasy.

"The foundation of Wright’s building was a massive column, shaped like an inverted tripod, sunk deeply into the ground. This supported a slender, tapering tower with cantilevered floors. In keeping with his belief that architecture ought to be organic, Wright likened this system to a tree trunk with branches."

"Wright insisted the mile-high building was no joke; it was 'thoroughly scientific'. He said that several prominent Chicagoans were already interested in the project. He had even picked out a lakefront site near the Adler Planetarium. Most of the tower's 500-plus floors would be office space for city, county, and state government. Wright said that 100,000 people might be accommodated. The top nine floors would be TV studios, topped off by a 330-foot antenna used for coast-to-coast broadcasts."

Structure ID
Name: The Illinois
Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Height: 1 730 metres
Function: Offices
Author: Frank Lloyd Wright

(citations taken from here and here)

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