There’s something epochal about this blaze. And it reminds me of the 1974 Hollywood classic, The Towering Inferno, that great pop culture flick that inadvertently represented the demise of high modernism. In the film, a massive skyscraper is built in San Francisco without the safety precautions the architect provided to the builder.
At 130 stories, the fictional tower would still be considered one of the tallest buildings in the world. It’s placement in San Francisco highlighted the lunacy of the endeavor since an earthquake zone isn’t the best location for such a phallic structure.
The film was based on two novels that were inspired by the building of the World Trade Center (The Glass Inferno by Thomas N. Scortia and Frank M. Robinson, and The Tower by Richard Martin Stern) and it encapsulates the mounting questions about the value and success of the “modernist project.”
And here’s the original movie trailer:
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