“Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf,” wrote Lewis Mumford in 1961. Driving per person continued to rise steadily for 43 years after that, and then it stopped. Automobile miles per capita have declined every year since 2004. Also, those concrete cloverleafs have become expensive maintenance problems. One could say the national flower has begun to wilt.
Namba Parks (なんばパークス Nanba Pākusu) is an office and shopping complex located in Namba-naka Nichome, Naniwa-ku, Osaka, Japan, the south of Namba Station on Nankai Railway. It consists of a high office building called Parks Tower and a 120-tenant shopping mall with rooftop garden. Namba Parks was developed by Jon Jerde of The Jerde Partnership in the footprint of the since closed Osaka Stadium.
It was for photographs of New York, such as these taken for LIFE magazine, that Andreas Feininger (1906-1999) attained fame. A trained architect, Feininger turned to photography at age 30. In 1939, he emigrated from Europe to New York, where he made photography his career.
Just three decades earlier, a large-scale neon light was switched on in front of the public for the very first time when Georges Claude — aka “the Edison of France” — demonstrated his invention at the Paris Motor show in December 1910.
Claude’s company was creating huge amounts of neon as a waste product of its core business, liquefying air, and it was this supply of neon that kicked off the age of the neon sign. With his patents, Claude had a monopoly on neon sign production.
The neon signs might have been made purely for advertising. A variety of colors could be made to light tubes that were bent into any and every shape, including letters and numbers. In 1913, three years after the Motor Show a huge Cinzano sign was on display in Paris, and in 1923, Claude sold two neon signs to an LA car dealership — the first American neon signs. (They said “Packard.”)
Licensing smaller manufacturers to create neon signs in specific geographic territories, Claude’s neon sign company took a percentage of the entire business, valued at $16.9 million by 1931. A year later, his patent expired. By 1940, almost 2,000 small workshops were crafting neon signs in the U.S.