ARCHITECTURAL FORUM July 1937. CITY 1960: Norman Bel Geddes’ “City of Tomorrow” photographed by Richard Garrison.

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Norman Bel Geddes, George Nelson [Associate Editor]

George Nelson [Associate Editor]: THE ARCHITECTURAL FORUM. Philadelphia: Time, Inc. [Volume 67, number 1,  July 1937]. Slim quarto. Wire spiral binding. Thick printed wrappers.  74 pp. editorial content. 110 pp. period advertising. Wrappers lightly worn. The spiral binding is in unusually good condition and does not bind any pages when opened. An unusually nice copy thus. Interior unmarked and very clean. A very good or better copy.

8.75 x 11.75 spiral-bound magazine with 184 pages of editorial content showcasing the Architectural and Industrial Design of the American Streamline Moderne Machine Age aesthetic. There are also an excellent assortment of vintage trade advertisements that espouse the depression moderne streamline aesthetic quite nicely. You have been warned.

  • RED INTO BLACK: Remodeled Shoreland Hotel, James F. Eppenstein; Halle Bros. By Gilbert Rohde; Lawrence Konvalinka; J. M. Berlinger; William B. Wiener: Rosenblath's Men's Store remodel, "Commendably simple in almost every respect, this recently modernized store indicates that the modern trend is no mere matter of new fixtures and perhaps a new front. . . . no attempt is made to disguise the fact that the sales room is a deep, narrow space -- instead the single l longitudinal lighting fixture serves frankly to emphasize this fact. Net result is a dignified interior with a feeling of unity, and little to distract the customer's attention from the merchandise. Cost; $5,800, including fixtures. Gross sales have increased 24 per cent since the alteration."  George Sweet; Scacchetti & Siegel; Alben Randolph Froberg; Jan Ruhtenberg; Robert Carson & Donald Campbell; Ford Cooper; Morris Rosenthal; Adolph Goldberg.
  • HOUSES: R. M. Schindler [Julius Shulman Photographs], Chester Hart & Marion Manley, Lutah Maria Riggs,Eleanor Raymond, Hal Yoakum, David Ludlow, David Abrahams, Andrew Jones Biscoe & Whitmore.
  • PLANNING TECHNIQUES No. 5, DRUG STORES: Fordyce & Hamby, Isidor Richmond, Henry H. Voight, Preston Bradshaw, Leichenko & Esser, and Nicholas Weiss.
  • CITY 1960: Norman Bel Geddes' 1937 'City of Tomorrow' model with photography by Richard Garrison. 6 pages and 7 black and white images.
  • BOOKS:

An American theatrical and industrial designer, Norman Bel Geddes was the first person to seriously apply the concepts of aerodynamics and streamlining to industrial design. To Geddes, streamlining illustrated courage: "We are too much inclined to believe, because things have long been done a certain way, that that is the best way to do them. Following old grooves of thought is one method of playing safe. But it deprives one of initiative and takes too long. It sacrifices the value of the element of surprise. At times, the only thing to do is to cut loose and do the unexpected! It takes more even than imagination to be progressive. It takes vision and courage."

In 1927, Bel Geddes left theatrical design and began designing cars, ships, factories and railways. He rapidly created streamlined forms for objects ranging from gas-ranges to trains, in addition to a revolving restaurant and, in 1929, a 9-deck amphibian airliner that incorporated areas for deck-games, an orchestra, a fully equipped gymnasium and a solarium. Bel Geddes designed the famous General Motors Pavilion for the1939 New York World’s Fair, which included the Highway and Horizons exhibit, more commonly known as the "Futurama." Bel Geddes expounded a philosophy of "essential forms" evolved from their systems of use, in his seminal book Horizons, published in 1932. He helped to establish a new professional niche -- that of "industrial designer", arguing for a closer relationship between engineering and design.