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What is this?

Perspective design for a skyscraper. Smaller masses flank a tall shaft with a dome-like terminus above.

Why is this in our collection?

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 is a drawing from United States. It is dated 1930 and we acquired it in 1952. Gift of Ely Jacques Kahn..

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ This object is currently resting in our storage facility.

Its medium is

graphite with fixative on tracing paper mounted on cardboard

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

This object was made for Buchman and Kahn and architect: Ely Jacques Kahn

This object was donated by Ely Jacques Kahn and catalogued by Megan L. Smith , E. Maurice Bloch and KH

A timeline of event horizons

This object has been included in the following exhibitions:

See more stuff from the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Do you have your own photos of this object? Are they online somewhere, like Flickr or Instagram? Or have you created a 3D model of one of our objects in SketchUp or Thingiverse? If so then then tag them with ch:object=18390641 and we will connect ours to yours!

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=28 July 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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