In December of 1965, Life magazine published a special issue titled "The U.S. City: Its Greatness Is at Stake." The upshot was that America’s cities were on a "suicidal" course and bold new ideas would be needed to revive them. One such idea was the "linear city," a structure that might be a mile wide and as much as 20 miles long containing every possible urban function. The version Life presented, illustrated with a cross section that made it look like a feverish ant farm, was cooked up by an uncredited team of Princeton professors that included the not-yet-famous Peter Eisenman and Michael Graves. Called the Jersey Corridor Project, it consisted of two parallel strips, one for industry and the other "a nearly endless ‘downtown’ of homes, shops, services" with highways in the basement, running like a ribbon through an otherwise pristine natural landscape.
Join Dwell+ to Continue
Subscribe to Dwell+ to get everything you already love about Dwell, plus exclusive home tours, video features, how-to guides, access to the Dwell archive, and more.
You can cancel at any time.