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Showing posts from September, 2013

From the Architectural Archives: Skyscraper Airship Docks

Maybe this will turn into a series - I can't tell yet.  Just pretend this is the first installment of a series of posts on historical architectural curiosities.

Justin asked me the other nightif it was true that the Empire State Building was built with the intent of mooring zeppelins (German airships, which themselves have a fascinating history) to its mast.  I thought I had recalled hearing this tidbit myself, and had to investigate.  Turns out the answer is a somewhat qualified yes!  The New York Times describes some of the history of this architectural quirk, along with great photocollages of the intended result.  Apparently, the skyscraper's spire was given additional height during the construction process, which the building developers claimed was to give it the advantage of a landing platform for dirigible traffic.  The real goal seems to have been to achieve the extra height needed to surpass the Chrysler Building.  Evidently the whole dirigible-landing-platform idea wa…