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Behold, the “Legends Tower” proposed for Oklahoma City, OK. If built, this 134-story, 1,907 feet tall humdinger will be the tallest building in the United States, surpassing New York City’s Freedom tower (at 1,776 feet tall). The site is in “Bricktown,” the entertainment district at the dead center of this typically sprawling western agglomeration of six-laners and hard-pan parking wastelands. Lord, the home-folks have tried to spiff up the place with some mid-rise apartments (brownie points for that) but the Happy Motoring ethos still prevails and as you can see not a single person is walking down these streets. The developer, Los Angeles-based Scott Matteson, anticipates that the Legend Tower will become an iconic destination. I agree. It will become a monument to the term malinvestment.  The theoretical inhabitants of the 3-million square feet of apartments will have choice views of “Tornado Alley.” Buckle-up for some rough rides, y’all.  And remember: societies built their most outlandish monuments just before they collapse.

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

8 Responses to “February 2024”

  1. tom clark February 4, 2024 at 9:08 pm #

    OK City, eh? Timothy McVeigh would salivate at the chance to blow this baby up.

  2. tucsonspur February 8, 2024 at 5:18 am #

    What a prodigious, preposterous, preening cloud piercer! To what does this tower aspire, to only go senselessly higher and higher? A skyraper shamelessly soaring towards the stratosphere!

    Who needs this when in Oklahoma the corn is already as high as an elephant’s eye. Buildings here shouldn’t be much higher.

  3. BackRowHeckler February 9, 2024 at 4:04 pm #

    I don’t see that ever getting built. What would be the point of it? They’d end up with a 2/3 empty White Elephant of a structure with no real need or purpose but with a tremendous expense to maintain & heat. It’s a nonstarter & a potential money loser.

  4. Greg Knepp February 13, 2024 at 1:25 pm #

    “…societies built their most outlandish monuments before they collapse”. True; consider the seventy-foot Easter Island moai statue. It is twice the size of any previous moai, but the society went belly-up before the monstrosity could be erected. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome damn near busted the Vatican bank, and left Europe with a growing desire for a saner, less grandiose form of Christianity. Europe’s supernova of castle building (and European royalty in general) occurred when Bavaria’s King Ludwig II constructed his Neuschwanstein Castle atop a crest where all the world could marvel at its glory. Bavaria went bankrupt as a result, the peasants revolted, and the good King committed suicide.* Then there’s the so-called Renaissance Center in Detroit. It came too little, too late to save that faltering metropolis. And don’t get me started on Dubai.
    * As an aside, for all his faults, we have King Ludwig II to thank for much of the music of Richard Wagner….that is, if you like Wagner, which I do.

    • VeldesX February 15, 2024 at 10:16 pm #

      Greg, the peasants of Bavaria had not revolted, but I suspect they WERE revolted by their cuckoo king’s shameless splurging of his father’s conscientious penny-pinching that had made the kingdom the most financially sound of the German states, if not Europe. Keep in mind, Loony Ludwig wasn’t finished with his loopy schemes: he’d commissioned sketches of an even more outlandish getaway called Falkenstein that would have made Neuschwanstein look like a Days Inn. It was about that time he was bundled off to that santorium where he chose to take swimming lessons with his doctor — which resulted in his even madder brother Otto being crowned king while wearing a straight-jacket. Ahh, in-bred families! On the other hand, Adolf Hitler justified the expense of his grandiose schemes for rebuilding Berlin by referencing Ludwig’s buildings: they were considered ridiculous in their time but had paid for themselves many times over by the tourists lured to them. So it would be for Berlin in the future! Perhaps he’d be right — but all that followed means we’ll never know.

      But Oklahoma City will be no draw for me just because some nutball erected a giant hypodermic needle right downtown…!

      • Greg Knepp February 20, 2024 at 6:15 pm #

        No question about the tourist boom. I’ve been to a couple of his edifices myself and was quite impressed. Disneyland ran with Ludwig’s grand motifs and has profited mightily.

  5. Dr. Coyote February 16, 2024 at 9:15 am #

    Utterly unneeded out where the land is cheap and plentiful. I can’t see how this building makes any kind of economic sense, nor can I see this thing actually being built.

    Having said that, it’s not the usual misshapen post-modern mess we’ve come to revile on a monthly basis in this series. I’d describe it more as a modernist take on Barad-dûr. Ominous, yes, but at least it doesn’t appear to have been drawn by Dr. Seuss on acid.

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