Wallstreet ¬ You won’t see it much on Wall Street and we will talk about why you won’t see it much on Wall Street. ¬ This is a neigbourhood that is historically great, but is undergoing enormous change right now and in fact I couldn’t even begin to predict the future of Wall Street. 20 or 25 years from now, it’s really hard to know if the name Wall Street will have anything to do with the physical location Wall Street any longer. ¬ And of course if there’s any place where the skyscraper first emerged, it’s right down here.¬ And there are two reasons, really, that skycrapers were so important down here. One is the obvious one and that is that skyscrapers, with their enormous height and grandeur, attracted a great deal of attention and so they became very symbolic of the power of certain industries and certain companies. I repeat that because it really is a very important theme for understanding the neighbourhood – the skyscraper is just a machine to make the land pay. He uses two floors, slaps his name on it, the boarders pay for the cost of that enormously tall building and he does well as a result. ¬ And you can see this kind of stepped pyramid style – go up, step back, go up, step back. Now, what’s really interesing about this is that there was not a city in the world that looked like this. This was purely imagination. Hugh Ferriss’s drawing was very inspirational in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. It was also borrowed again by Tim Burton in his 1980s rendition of Batman, where he created a Gotham City that looked very much like this Hugh Ferriss design. ¬ So, The wall was there to defend and it was not much of a wall. It was a pile of wooden planks about nine feet high. Who tended to be very practical street namers, probably should have called it Fence Street, not Wall Street, because it was not a stone palacade. But, they called it Wall Street and it’s probably for the best because it’s hard to imagine the financial world built on Fence Street – it never would happen. ¬ And that’s it. There’s really not a whole lot here. It’s only four or five blocks long and it’s actually been extended by landfill by several blocks. Nonetheless, it’s emotionally very important and it has had some great historic buildings on it. ¬ This is really the centerpiece of the tour. This one takes everything we’ve been saying about tall buildings and turns it totally on its head. So, we’ve been talking about the machine to make the land pay; we’ve been talking about the glory of a tall building – slap your name on it, use two floors. The real power is really is in having a small building and not a tall building. ¬ You see, as I’ve already said, if you have a tall building, everyone knows you’re renting most of it to pay for the cost of your real estate. And, a great sign of real egotism is in having a small building and not a tall building.

Video zum Projekt: Die Relativistische Stadt- Wish You Were here
DVD 3:14min (Ton: New York 2005, Bilder: Oschatz 2006)