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Thread: Monorail plans of the 1970s

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Monorail plans of the 1970s

    I've recently uncovered a 1977 monorail plan for an area study I'm currently working on. Anyone else have any old monorail pics?

    This one is for the ARMUS (Air Rights Multi-Use Structure). Intended to be a linear retail-commercial building, it would have been fully decked out with a suspended monorail running the length of the study area, with connections to local buses at both ends.

    It reminds me of the massive structure once proposed for Battery Park City in Manhattan.

    Actually, the great part about this was that it was almost a post-script of the area study. After several other recommendations, this was presented as the "long-term plan." This is what the consultant threw in to the back six pages of 84 page study. Kind of a surprise ending. Was this the golden age of planning, an "anything goes" period? I think so.

    Does anyone have any old plans that rival the ARMUS-Monorail?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fatcity_monorail1.jpg   fatcity_monorail2.JPG  

    Last edited by stumpydoo5; 07 Aug 2009 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Add in the fact that it was a post-script to the plan.

  2. #2
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    I've only seen it in drawings, and I can't find it online: Gordon Bunshaft's original plans for the University of Buffalo North Campus. The plan: a single mile-long mega-structure housing the entire university; classrooms, auditoriums, and housing. I don't know if there was a monorail involved, but for a building of that length it would have been a must.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian Joe Iliff's avatar
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    Reminds me some of the Las Colinas People Mover. Las Colinas is an urban development in Irving, Texas, near DFW Airport. An extensive monorail system was originally proposed to connect several separate buildings, but two routes and a few stops were ever built. I worked in a building that had a stop. The problem is that it never really took you anywhere. To go to lunch, you had to ride it to the next stop, walk out of that building, and across the street to another.

    http://faculty.washington.edu/jbs/itrans/lascol1.htm
    JOE ILIFF
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    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    I wish I could find a PDF of the plan online, but the 1969 Downtown Winnipeg plan had some of the greatest (i.e. dated) plan graphics I have ever seen. Jet planes swooping over rows of identical apartment towers-in-a-field, people happily strolling through skywalks as traffic sped by beneath them, and an entire existing downtown area wiped clean of "old" buildings and replaced with a modernist paradise.

    I found one image from the plan on Flikr, just to give you a taste:

    Image from the plan

    Someone put the text up here, though it is somewhat lacking without the graphics:

    Downtown Winnipeg 1969

  5. #5
    Cyburbian safege's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by JimPlans View post
    I wish I could find a PDF of the plan online, but the 1969 Downtown Winnipeg plan had some of the greatest (i.e. dated) plan graphics I have ever seen. Jet planes swooping over rows of identical apartment towers-in-a-field, people happily strolling through skywalks as traffic sped by beneath them, and an entire existing downtown area wiped clean of "old" buildings and replaced with a modernist paradise.

    I found one image from the plan on Flikr, just to give you a taste:

    Image from the plan

    Someone put the text up here, though it is somewhat lacking without the graphics:

    Downtown Winnipeg 1969
    Downtown Minneapolis. An extensive skyway system that works because it is extensive.

    As for suspended monorail (light rail/monorail hybrids), they are my life. So, no comment.
    Psychotics are consistently inconsistent. The essence of sanity is to be inconsistently inconsistent.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I have mentioned this one before, but I have a wonderful image from the 1965 plan of a town I worked in. It shows a downtown enclosed mall, pedestrian mall, and tons of new housing on the downtown lakefront, topped off with four NYC-style high-rise apartment buildings. Oh, did I mention this was a rural community with a population of about 7,000?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Cardinal's plan reminds me of a comp plan I wrote for an exurban village of about 1,000 residents about 45 miles east of Cleveland. The previous plan was written in the early 1960s, and projected a population of 50,000. The plan included two new expressways, an airport, and three heliports - for a village which at the time had a two-block long main street. The place still has a two-block long main street.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  8. #8
    Cyburbian cellophane's avatar
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    a monorail sounds like a shelbyville idea!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Not exactly the same thing...

    This thread reminds me of the (apparently) unique transit system in Morgantown WV:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgant..._Rapid_Transit
    The Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit (WVU PRT) system is a one-of-a-kind people mover system in Morgantown, West Virginia, United States. An experiment in new public transportation methods at the time, it has now operated with good reliability for over thirty years, though it has not been replicated elsewhere to date.

    The system connects the three Morgantown campuses of West Virginia University (WVU) and was built by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Boeing Vertol in the 1970s, the first of its type in the world.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian kw5280's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by cellophane View post
    a monorail sounds like a shelbyville idea!
    The best part of my Transportation Planning class was watching Marge vs. The Monorail. There's a Simpsons reference for everything.

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