In the Blogosphere

Mailer’s LEGO Vision of New York

Mailer’s dream city uses the basic technique of modern architecture, a mass-produced prefabricated element throughout. Here it would be a box girder, 50 by 25 by 12 feet, inside which the construction, a single apartment, would be built. Yet with such a standardized unit (represented by Lego blocks in the model), Mailer shows that an enormous variety of styles and moods can be obtained — Gothic and Romanesque arches, baroque turrets, minarets, ziggurats, formal towers for formal-type people as well as swaying cantilevered apartments for the more bohemian taste. There is the isolation of hard-to-get-to apartments for those who would be isolate, and there are convenient apartments for those who prefer to hurry through life. The great city-structure he visualizes would be 3000 feet high and house 60,000 people.
Read more in The Village Voice archives. This excerpt was originally run February 18, 1965.