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Designing Modern AmericaBroadway to Main Street$
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Christopher Innes

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108040

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108040.001.0001

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Street Scenes

Street Scenes

(p.171) 10 Street Scenes
Designing Modern America

Christopher Innes

Yale University Press

This chapter illustrates the American city as the dominating symbol of modern life, with Manhattan becoming its most powerful image during the twentieth century. Highways, as Bel Geddes's 1939 Futurama predicted, have carved through the continental landscape, but nowhere is the impact of cars more obvious than in the modern metropolis. Bel Geddes's involvement in automobile design made him, from the beginning, particularly sensitive to the kind of urban planning cities required. Even if he never drew up specific layouts for New York, Bel Geddes was extraordinarily influential in shaping its development. He may not have been personally involved in its development plans, yet the way Manhattan looks today is a direct reflection of his ideas.

Keywords:   dominating symbol, American city, modern life, Manhattan, most powerful image

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