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America's Future Cities (1880s)

Have you ever wonder how people from the past envisioned our cities of today? Imagine yourself living 100 years ago and think about wh...

Have you ever wonder how people from the past envisioned our cities of today? Imagine yourself living 100 years ago and think about what our cities be like a century later. Well your guess is as good as mine.

The Disney and More blog has posted fictional steampunk visions of America's big cities in great detail. Whether these are actual posters from that era, it is consistent with what people though about the future at that time - tall skyscrapers, flying machines and various exotic contraptions and wundercrafts. From Washington DC to Los Angeles, all cities were depicted as densely populated metropolis that resembles the fictional Gotham City of Bruce Wayne with "modern" technologies with the classic Victorian industrial charm of that time.

In the year 2000, American cities will have airships flying over the massive New York skyline dominated by skyscrapers with some interconnected by elevated tunnels. The architecture reflects the gargantuan attempt by man to dominate the skies as visionaries envisioned these megaliths as cathedrals of capitalism. One skyscraper reminds me of the Daily Globe in Clark Kent's Metropolis.

The city of Baltimore in 1999 will have smoke-belching steamboats ferrying passengers across the city. Perhaps, they haven't figured out a reliable diesel engine powered by gasoline. People are still wearing their 19th century dress 100 years later. Interestingly, globe-shaped building has become popular in the late 1940s to the 1960s.

The nation's capital will be overshadowed by a large domed structure that is so massive that it makes the Capitol look like a miniature. The awe-inspiring architecture reminds us of the megalomaniac vision of Adolf Hitler of his brainchild - Germania. Rich people will have their own personal flying machine that will bring them to the seat of power.

Chicago will have its El Train dominating the city's mass transportation but unlike the aging and grimy version of today, their train will be a lot more glamorous with its early 1900's motif and accouterments. Since most visionaries have yet to foresee modern construction techniques, all the ultra-high skyscrapers are reinforced by flying buttresses and interconnected by massive braces.

America's favorite beach-side playground in Atlantic City will have lots of mega hotels and pleasure palaces with one resembling the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai. Airships will dock nearby bringing in more tourists while women in the future will fly with their personal flying contraption installed on their backs.

The Mile High city will still be a skiers paradise but a whole lot different that what we see today. Intricate towers that connect the top of the mountain with cable cars are like structures built by Gustave Eiffel. Some skiers will not use the cable car going up as they have propeller-powered winged-suit that will bring them on top.

Although there are steamships on the Mississippi River, their vision of the Big Easy is somewhat spot on without the ever-present dirigibles and drone-like flying machines in the air. We will be sure that Jazz music will still be the same in future New Orleans

Although St. Louis' Gateway Arch was built in 1963, the 1999-version envisioned a century earlier is as rough as it can be. It is like a giant steel beam that is bent to shape like an arch. Domed structures remain a common theme in these pictures as well as the ever-present airships.

Los Angeles looks far apart to what it is now. It looks like a tropical tourist town like that of Miami or Hawaii that what we normally recognize. There are lots of coconut trees and hot air balloons are docking at the top of skyscrapers. Pre-Ford era automobiles remain unchanged in the year 1996.

Their version of the Golden Gate Bridge is eerily similar although the real one was built in 1933. There is anachronism in the theme as passenger ships are steam-powered but with sails. A lot of Seattle Space Needle type of buildings dominating the San Francisco skyline.

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