The towering structures of modern cities often serve as temples dedicated to mammon worship. They point a moral and teach a lesson as truly as the churches and castles that dotted mediaeval Europe. ~ John S. Festerson
In the twentieth century, as in the twelfth, men's aspirations and longings may be correctly interpreted by the monuments they erect. For now as always the seen reveals the unseen; the material bodies forth the spiritual; thoughts are hidden until they find expression in tangible form. As the Gothic cathedral during the Dark Ages voiced the deep yearnings of devout souls, so the modern skyscraper as unmistakably reveals the secret springs of the world’s ceaseless activity, showing clearly what are the most important factors in the life of this age. The deity of to-day is the supposedly almighty dollar, and the towering structures of modern cities often serve as temples dedicated to mammon worship. They point a moral and teach a lesson as truly as the churches and castles that dotted mediaeval Europe.
John S. Festerson, "Engineering Problems in Modern Shyscrapers," Universal Engineer, vol. 10, no. 5, May 1910, p. 330
Thirty thousand feet above the earth / its a beautiful thing. everybody's a beautiful thing / mmm skyscraper, i love you.
Crowned not only with no history, but with no credible possibility of time for history, and consecrated by no uses save the commercial at any cost, they are simply the most piercing notes in that concert of the expensively provisional into which your supreme sense of New York resolves itself
What is the chief characteristic of the tall office building? It is lofty. It must be tall. The force and power of altitude must be in it, the glory and pride of exaltation must be in it. It must be every inch a proud and soaring thing, rising in sheer exaltation that from bottom to top it is a unit without a single dissenting line.
Louis Sullivan, The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered (1896)