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Drawing, Design for a Skyscraper, 1930

This is a Drawing. It was architect: Ely Jacques Kahn and made for Buchman and Kahn. It is dated 1930 and we acquired it in 1952. Its medium is graphite with fixative on tracing paper mounted on cardboard. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Beaux-Arts-trained architect Ely Jacques Kahn, known for his embrace of New York’s commercial development drew this skyscraper proposal in the midst of the city’s building boom. Known for mixing historicism and Art Deco modernism, Kahn here references the stepped facades of ancient ziggurats as well as the setback style that became characteristic of early twentieth-century urban architecture. Kahn emphasized the building's sixty-five-story height through vertical lines, and in the drawing, by its central placement looming over the city. The domed peak—unusual for the architect, who generally preferred strict rectilinearity—suggests the building had soared to its vertical limit. The design was possibly for an official French building to be built by Irwin S. Chanin of the Chanin Construction Company on the entire block between 62nd and 63rd Streets west of Central Park West. The stock market crash and succeeding recession ground the project to a halt. Although this building was never realized, more than fifty of his designs from the 1920s to 1960s were constructed and remain in use today.

This object was featured in our Object of the Day series in a post titled Celebrating the Commercial Building.

This object was donated by Ely Jacques Kahn and catalogued by E. Maurice Bloch, Megan L. Smith and KH. It is credited Gift of Ely Jacques Kahn..

Its dimensions are

62.5 x 40 cm (24 5/8 x 15 3/4 in.) Image size: 56.6 x 34.3 Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22 in.)

It is signed

Inscribed in graphite, lower margin center: BUCHMAN AND KAHN, ARCH'T'S

It is inscribed

Inscribed in graphite, lower margin center: BUCHMAN AND KAHN, ARCH'T'S

Cite this object as

Drawing, Design for a Skyscraper, 1930. graphite with fixative on tracing paper mounted on cardboard. Gift of Ely Jacques Kahn.. 1952-15-13.

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Cooper-Hewitt Collections: A Design Resource.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Drawing, Design for a Skyscraper, 1930 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=30 November 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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