Thursday, April 1, 2010

J.E.Lummus: The Failed City in the Swamp.

Mr. J.E. Lummus endeavored to capitalize on a radical late 20th-century idea of building a world-class city of industry and culture in the middle of a swamp. He was influenced by such cities as Manaus and Brasilia in Brazil. He was inspired by Julia Tuttle’s infectious optimism for Miami, yet driven by jealousy over her achievements. Mr. Lummus, seeking to construct "a portal to the future amongst gators and muck", borrowed 3 million dollars from Henry Flagler and William Brickell, both of whom invested heavily in Florida’s citrus industry and were known for their competitive business acumen.

Mr. Lummus’s funds ran dry after the winter of 1895 claimed the state’s entire citrus crop. Begun deep in the southern Okefenokee, this city’s construction lost momentum quickly. To this day it remains located hidden deep in the overgrown swamp. The unnamed project was originally envisioned as a paradigm to Futurist architectural utopias, with long and linear concrete expanses between industrial complexes connected by highway-like walkways built above the roily swamp below. To those in the know it has come to symbolize the unfinished--some say failed--project that is Modernism, with its undying belief in progress and rational aesthetics.


The Society for the Preservation of Lost Things and Missing Time is pleased to display images of this failed city in its perpetual stasis as the swamp reclaims it, and original documents diagraming Mr. J.E. Lummus' concepts and hand-drawn design.

1 comment:

  1. No way! Weird! It's almost identical to the Shark Valley tower off of Tamiami Trail west of Miccosuki

    I don't know... Notice the kink in the concrete next to the railing next to the calendar in the link, then look at the picture above. And the relationship to the path... if it is different... it's an impeccable duplicate.