Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Majestic domes... Heavy arches... Dozens of vertical lines making the enormous structure taller and taller...

And tall it was. Or rather, was supposed to be - the tallest building on Earth. Eternal Littorian Tower, proposed not for New York or Chicago but for Rome, the Eternal City, not so long before the plans for 40 Wall Street, Chrysler Building and Empire State Building took shape:

The architect, Mario Palanti, made himself quite a name in South America, designing buildings for Buenos Aires:

The latter, 100-meter tall 22-storeyed Palacio Barolo, completed in 1923, became an unofficial symbol of the Argentine capital. Here it is in the 1930s, together with a guest from Germany:

Palanti's proposal for Mole Littoria was widely criticized, widely advertised and never implemented:

The architect failed to change the Rome skyline and continued to work in Latin America.

In 1925 - 1928 he designed Edificio Chrysler (Palacio Alcorta) in Buenos Aires:

and another skyscraper, Palacio Salvo in Montevideo, Uruguay:

Being "only" 83.8m tall (100m including radio antenna on the rooftop) it competed with Palacio Barolo for the recognition as the Southern Hemishere's Tallest Building. In 1934 their competition stopped, but it's another story.

And back in Rome, another proposal for Mole Littoria was submitted in 1937 by Armando Brasini:

But the plans to erect this Neo-Baroque structure were canceled when Il Duce decided to concentrate on the E42 World Fair site in the outskirts of Rome (one more story to tell). In the meanwhile, Fascist youth could train and march at the new Forum:

Images: Mario Palanti Blog, planeteye.com, travelpod.com, Indire.it

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Comment by lord_k on January 6, 2011 at 1:36am
Track it on Google Books. Actually, here it is. Alas, it ends exactly where it starts, on p.181. Nothing more to tell about the artichoke, sorry.
Comment by Deven Science on January 6, 2011 at 1:27am
I'm actually more interested in the sugar story that starts on that page of the Popular Science magazine.
Comment by lord_k on January 4, 2011 at 11:36am
Some day, Stefan, some day.
Comment by Stefan on January 4, 2011 at 9:02am

Your post really makes me wish I could visit Argentina like... right now ! Thank you, Lord K. I can't wait for you to tell us the story of the Foro Italico : well known as the place is, I'm sure there are still untold facts about it.

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