Alaux, Jean Paul. American Institute of Architects Journal 2 (March 1914):159.
On December 6, 1913, in the great ampitheater[sic] of the Sorbonne, under the distinguished patronage of the French-American Committee, Mr. Emile Boutroux presiding, a lecture was given by Mr. Paul Adam on "the City of the Future," in which he presented to the intellectual élite of Paris this very great project, conceived by Mr. H. C. Andersen, an American sculptor, and studied and wrought into shape by M. Jean Hebrard, a French architect. This project contemplates the creation of an international world-center, which would become a meeting-place for the best in science, art and sport,--a sort of storehouse for thought and human activities, where, without any distinction of religion or nationality, men could meet and unite in a common effort for the attainment of idealism and beauty. This program, utopian as it seemed at first, has gained for itself strong supporters. It has taken form in a magnificent scheme for a complete city, highly interesting to the architect or the city-planning expert. the location of the numerous and varied public monuments has been carefully decided on the plan. Several tracts of land are considered by M. Hebrard as suitable to his scheme: near Neufchatel, on the Mediterranean coast, near Paris, near Constantinople, in Holland, near Brussels, and in the United States.
The city is divided into three distinct groups: First, the scientific group, composed of the palaces of the sociological sciences, of medicine, of agriculture, of pure sciences, with, besides, a large bank, a temple of religions, and a large library. These are placed around a public square, the center of which is occupied by a gigantic tower, the Tower of Progress, three hundred and twenty meters high. From this square starts a mall, decorated with gardens, along which are built the palaces of the nations of the world. The mall leads to the second group, made up of the Temple of Arts, used for temporary or permanent exhibitions, the School of the Fine Arts, the conservatory of music, the museum of natural history, and the zoölogical garden, all of which are so disposed as to provide an imposing monumental expression. On the same axis is built the group of the sports, with a stadium rivaling the Circus Maximus of ancient Rome, a natotorium, and two palaces for physical culture. this monumental part of the future city is completed by the residential section, planned on the type of the garden cities.
Long avenues radiating from the center of the city connect every part with the monumental group,; which is, however, isolated from the residential section, the industrial section, and the business section, by a broad canal, which frames it on three sides. A terminal station is situated on the outskirts of the city, facing on a civic center--a great square, around which are placed the city hall, the palace of justice, the postoffice, the libraries, and other public buildings.
The tower of Progress, a gigantic belfry, whose steeple is perhaps intended as the symbol of a new faith in mankind, dominates the whole. Great social problems would be discussed at this point of concentration of the moral and intellectual life of the nations. Many problems raised by the creation of this city will be studied in due time, as it becomes necessary to make their solution conform to those necessitated by the realization of the world-center. For the present, the idea has been put in motion, and, if we judge by the enthusiastic adherences which have come from all parts of the world, it will not be easily checked in its course.
Mr. Paul Adam's interest lecture cited examples of cities created as a whole rather than built according to the requirements of the population. the city of Bellow Horizonte, in Brazil, capital of the state of Minas Geraes, was built in three years, between 1894 and 1897, in exactly thirty-seven months. In French Africa, the city of Koulouba, on the Niger, was created in this same way, in an incomparable situation, and lacking nothing of the most refined comfort. In Canada and in the western part of the United States, cities that were not in existence fifteen years ago number today more than a hundred thousand inhabitants.
Such examples could be imitated, and the country which would internationalize a small part of its territory, to be used for the building of the city of the future, would acquire incomparable moral prestige. I have always though that the United States is better situated than any other nation of the world for the execution of such a project. It has in its favor a complete independence of European alliances and their resulting complications of interests, the high ideals of philanthropy current within its borders, and the modernism and enthusiasm of its people. the slow displacement of the center of civilization from east to west, due to the opening of the Panama Canal, will accentuate America as the human center of the world.