Solidly built, designed for the ages, crafted with fine materials – I’m sure all these thoughts were present when public buildings were erected in America between the two world wars. Cities were beginning their growth spurt as industry concentrated into larger population centers and administration was required to have edifices suitably monumental. Icons of government, education, transportation and industry these became, each city vying for attention through architecture designed to manage the masses.
Now we gaze at these shells through glass surrounding the steel structures that have replaced their function. Massive has given way to light, solid to skyward, and permanence to flexibility. We’ve concentrated more population into smaller areas yet have managed to provide space sufficient for people to isolate themselves from each other.
Maybe there was something about these spaces that encouraged connection?