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Object ID #18468717

This is a Drawing. It was created by Hugh Ferriss. It is dated 1922 and we acquired it in 1969. Its medium is black crayon, stumped, pen and black ink, brush and black wash, varnish on illustration board. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

The skyscraper, symbol of New York City and emblem of American culture, is envisioned in this charismatic architectural rendering by Hugh Ferriss, one of a series of four drawings that show how the city's landmark 1916 "set-back" law would produce the stepped architectural silhouette now familiar from iconic structures such as the Waldorf Astoria and the Empire State Building. The limitations imposed on maximum mass were designed to allow light into city streets, and to allay public fears that the new monoliths would turn city streets into canyons of darkness.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Mod Metropolis.

This object was donated by Mrs. Hugh Ferriss. It is credited Gift of Mrs. Hugh Ferriss.

  • Object ID #18390641
  • graphite with fixative on tracing paper mounted on cardboard .
  • Gift of Ely Jacques Kahn..
  • 1952-15-13

Our curators have highlighted 8 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Drawing, The Ten-Deck House
  • graphite on white wove paper .
  • Museum purchase from Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program....
  • 1991-53-2

Its dimensions are

66.8 × 51 cm (26 5/16 × 20 1/16 in.)

It is signed

Signed in pen and black ink, lower right: Hugh Ferriss

It is inscribed

Inscribed in black chalk, verso: #4 (underlined)/Return to Hugh Ferriss/101 Park Ave/New York, NY, USA

Cite this object as

Object ID #18468717; Hugh Ferriss (American, 1889–1962); USA; black crayon, stumped, pen and black ink, brush and black wash, varnish on illustration board; 66.8 × 51 cm (26 5/16 × 20 1/16 in.) ; Gift of Mrs. Hugh Ferriss; 1969-137-4

We have 1 media file that features Object ID #18468717.

"Sugar Foot Stomp," Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra (1925)

The Hugh Ferriss drawing, Study for Maximum Mass Permitted by the 1916 New York Zoning Law, Stage 4 seemed to call out for the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra with Louis Armstrong. In “Sugar Foot...

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibitions The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920sMaking Design and The Cooper-Hewitt Collections: A Design Resource.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

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

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Object ID #18468717 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=3 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>