The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

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Matt2
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Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by Matt2 »

What I'd like to know is the backstory of this project. Clearly it was a lark....right? A means to gain some attention and publicity? Did Wright wake up one morning and tell the boys, "I got a great idea. This will really knock everyone out of their sock. A mile high tower!" I assume he then assigned someone the job of doing some research on this, a bit of engineering calculations, etc. Did any of the apprentices talk about this project of what they thought of it?

SDR
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Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by SDR »

The text in Taschen III begins, "In 1956, Wright was asked to design a mile-high television tower. Believing a mile-high tower for television transmission alone was a wasted opportunity, he responded with a mile-high skyscraper."

Also: "Does a church steeple sway in the wind ? No, because the wind has no pressure on the top [of the tapered steeple]. . ."


Matter from A Testament and Taschen III:


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© 2009 by TASCHEN GmbH and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Last edited by SDR on Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by SDR »

One wonders how many floors are supported by one set of suspension rods---and where those rods are anchored at their upper ends ?

S

Roderick Grant
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Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by Roderick Grant »

The plan at the base consists of two 90-60-30 triangles with a common hypotenuse. This is subdivided into two 70-60-50 triangles and two 110-40-30 triangles. There are 2 square elevator lobbies separated by the structural spine, each containing 21 elevators, 5 stories each, so one would have to determine which floor to enter the elevator in order to end up at the desired exit floor. As the building rises, and the floors decrease in area, the square elevator lobbies eventually penetrate the exterior, and the elevators diminish in number.
Last edited by Roderick Grant on Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Roderick Grant
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Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by Roderick Grant »

In the 90s, one of the projects (that obviously fell by the wayside) to accommodate tourists at T-West was a separate museum displaying the drawings. This included the spectacular drawing of the Illinois, which is seen in the Steinerag attachment. It would have been housed in a tower-like structure of its own, rising high above the one-story museum. It was designed by Stephen Nemtin.

SDR
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Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by SDR »

Text from Taschen III, p 463:

Image
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DRN
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Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by DRN »

Also: "Does a church steeple sway in the wind ? No, because the wind has no pressure on the top [of the tapered steeple]. . ."
Heh. Given its height and slenderness ratio, the Illinois might not just sway, but might bow like an upended sine wave. The upper most “floors” are so small and served by only one stair, such that I believe a significant amount of them would be uninhabitable by life safety codes, not to mention the issue of motion sickness.

Still, the Illinois is one of the most elegant tower forms I have ever seen. I believe if one was willing to write off the top most 80 stories or so as vacant, and scale the whole thing down to 3000 feet tall, it would look fantastic and might be physically feasible (financial feasibility and traffic to and from it are another matter). But I suspect the form is still too slender and lateral motion would still be an issue.

juankbedoya
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Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by juankbedoya »

SDR wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 12:12 pm
The text in Taschen III begins, "In 1956, Wright was asked to design a mile-high television tower. Believing a mile-high tower for television transmission alone was a wasted opportunity, he responded with a mile-high skyscraper."

Also: "Does a church steeple sway in the wind ? No, because the wind has no pressure on the top [of the tapered steeple]. . ."


Matter from A Testament and Taschen III:


© 2009 by TASCHEN GmbH and by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
OMG, your are the Holy Library of Wright..!! Some pictures are the first time I see..!! and one of the contradictions of his architecture, he hated skyscrapers, he loved horizontality but this is one of his most beautiful contradictions..!!

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by SDR »

An early triumph, the "Romeo and Juliet" windmill at Hillside, is a strong expression of the vertical. There are few rules in Wright, and many exceptions . . .!

S

Tom
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Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by Tom »

I was thinking of the Romeo and Juliet windmill (RJW) in relation to this thread.
Your mention of that here helped move that thought along.
The RJWs' concept is clear: two distinct but integrated geometrical volumes.
I think the Mile High is something similar - but can't quite place it.
Wouldnt you love to see all the drawings that the archives has of this beauty?

Some critics say Wright's work weakened in his last years.
In some ways I think they are correct ... and his studio was busy.
The Mile High says to me that his powers were fully intact in the final act.

There seems to me someting of the Tahoe Cabins in this too.

SDR
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Location: San Francisco

Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by SDR »

I think this model is helpful in translating the plan and elevation drawings into an understanding of the form:

https://imgur.com/gallery/59AA7uN

It is of interest that the form remains symmetrical about a diagonal axis until it reaches the very uppermost region, where the pair of elevator shafts becomes redundant and problematic.

S

Tom
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Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by Tom »

I agree about that model.
It's the first time I really understood what was going on in that elevation.

Wright's initial concept sketch for this thing is cool too.
Judging just from that he might have he might have designed
this building in one sketch of plan and elevation.

Paul Ringstrom
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Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by Paul Ringstrom »

Owner of the G. Curtis Yelland House (1910), by Wm. Drummond

Roderick Grant
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Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by Roderick Grant »

Check out the rent/sales price on the upper floors (or lower floors, for that matter) of Burj Khalifa, and the possibility of such structures benefiting anyone not in the billionaire category would become obvious.
And that is a mere 2,722 feet high.

DavidC
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Re: The Illinois 'Mile-High' Tower Architectural Model

Post by DavidC »


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