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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA December 2013
Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 43 Number 4 December 2013 145 THE YEAR THAT WAS 1913 PETERS The 2 February 1913 opening of New York's Grand Central Terminal building showed the world a great work of engineering. It is the largest railroad station in the world, with 44 platforms and 67 tracks on 2 levels.Many people did not realise that the railway terminal was just one part of a much larger plan. William John Wilgus, chief engineer of the project, worked with architects Reed & Stem from St. Paul and Warren & Wetmore of New York to develop not only a modern rail system, but also a city---Terminal City---to support the railroad's activities. The railroad's design for its new terminal in 1913 included plans for hotels, clubs, and offce buildings that would surround and support the booming rail business. Wilgus convinced railroad offcials for the frst time to sell air rights---to build over the new underground electric rails. Architecture has at least three dimensions, and the rights to build up in the air has proven to be an important aspect of real estate development and zoning regulations. Many have argued that William Wilgus' Terminal City plan modernized the legal concept of air rights in architecture. The luxury Biltmore Hotel at 335 Madison Avenue was the frst hotel to be built in Terminal City. Designed by Warren & Wetmore, architects of Grand Central Terminal, the Biltmore opened in January 1913---a month before the train station. The Jazz Age hotel connected to a subterranean Biltmore Room in Grand Central, which became known as "the kissing room." Underground passageways linked many of the buildings within Terminal City. The well-heeled could even pamper their elegant automobiles in an indoor garage shared with the Hotel Commodore.22 The Woolworth Building, designed by architect Cass Gilbert and completed in 1913, is one of the oldest skyscrapers in the United States. The land for the building was purchased by F. W. Woolworth, 11 March 1910 from the Trenor Luther Park Estate for two million dollars. More than a century after the start of its construction, it remains, at 57 stories, one of the ffty tallest buildings in the United States as well as one of the twenty tallest buildings in New York City. It has been a National Historic Landmark since 1966, and a New York City landmark since 1983. The Woolworth Building was constructed in neo-Gothic style by architect Cass Gilbert, who was commissioned by Frank Woolworth in 1910 to design the tallest building in the world as the Woolworth Company's new corporate headquarters on Broadway, between Park Place and Barclay Street in Lower Manhattan, opposite City Hall. Originally planned to be 625 feet (191 m) high, the building was eventually elevated to 792 feet (241 m). The construction cost was US$13.5 million and Woolworth paid all of it in cash. On completion, the Woolworth building overtook the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower as the world's- tallest building. It opened on 24 April 1913.23 AUSTRALIA On 12 March 1913, Canberra was offcially given its name by Lady Denman, the wife of Governor-General The Right Hon. Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman, at a ceremony at Kurrajong Hill, which has since become Capital Hill and the site of the present Parliament House. The offcial party consisted of Lord Denman, Governor General; Lady Denman; Andrew Fisher, Prime Minister; and King O'Malley, Minister of Home Affairs. Five hundred offcial guests and almost 5,000 people travelled to witness the spectacle. Lord Denman laid the frst foundation stone. The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely planned city outside of any state, similar to the American Federal District of Columbia. Following an international contest for the city's design, a blueprint by Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffn and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The Griffns’ plan featured geometric motifs such as circles, hexagons and triangles, and was centred around axes aligned with signifcant topographical landmarks in the Australian Capital Territory.24 On 1 May the frst national banknotes were introduced in denominations of 10 shillings, and 1, 5 and 10 pounds.24 Australian philately proper began in early 1913 with the Kangaroo and Map series featuring a kangaroo standing on a map of Australia, and inscribed "AUSTRALIA POSTAGE."25 The Norfolk Island Act 1913 meant that Norfolk Island became an Australia Territory under the authority of the Australian Commonwealth.24 HMAS Australia was commissioned at Portsmouth and sailed to Australia to become the Australian fagship.25 The Golden Fleece Company was established by HC Sleigh; the company was acquired by Caltex in 1981.25 AVIATION As in previous years various countries in the world rushed to establish military air forces. The Belgian Compagnie des Aviateurs (Aviator's Company), an independent air force, was formed from the former Balloon Company.26 The Serbian air force was established as an army air service. Six offcers received pilot training in France.27 The Spanish air arm was renamed as the Servico de Aeronautica Militar Espanola. 26 The Australian Flying Corps was created.26 Brazilian Prime Minister Andrew Fisher standing between Lord and Lady Denman and King O'Malley on right during the naming ceremony of Canberra, 12 March 1913. Courtesy National Library of Australia
CJA September 2013