Farce, or Futurist? FitzGerzld Jape Should Make Architects and Developers Think

Amazon Prime Air drone. Courtesy of Amazon.com

Amazon Prime Air drone. Courtesy of Amazon.com

Yesterday, Chicago architecture firm FitzGerald Associates sent out its weekly newsletter.  As it did last year, the e-mail deliberately coincided with April 1st and was filled with April Fool’s Jokes.

While most of the fake articles in the newsletter were mildly amusing, one caught our eye as being… well… maybe something that architects should think about.

Amenity Tower

FitzGerald Associates’ tower of farce. Or genius.

In an article making fun of the crazy level of amenities demanded by high-end condo dwellers these days, there is a graphic showing the layout of an imaginary skyscraper so luxurious that it only has room for two residences.

It’s what’s at the top of the skyscraper that is important.  At the stubby end of a dashed line is a notation reading “Delivery Drone Landing [Pad].”

Is that something that architects and developers should start thinking about?  Before you laugh, consider this:  Amazon.com has been granted permission from the federal government to test delivery drones on a large chunk of private land in eastern Washington State.  It also recently opened up a delivery drone research facility in Canada, because it’s moving forward so fast with the drone project that it needs to bypass American regulators to get the work done.

Just a generation ago, the John Hancock Center (875 North Michigan Avenue) went up on Chicago’s Gold Coast.  At the time it was the swankiest, most luxurious, most futuristic residential skyscraper in the world. Much like the April Fool’s skyscraper from FitzGerald.  But guess what the Hancock Center didn’t have until just a few years ago?  Washing machines and dryers in the apartments.  After all, who would want such a thing in an apartment building?  You can just go up or down a few floors and put some quarters in a machine that you share with all of your neighbors!  Doing laundry in an apartment?  That’s absurd!

That drone landing pad doesn’t seem so crazy now, does it?


Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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