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The Saint Paul globe. (St. Paul, Minn.) 1896-1905, November 13, 1904, Image 6

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn90059523/1904-11-13/ed-1/seq-6/

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- S I gazed through the wonderful
M» instrument devised by my
§gj\ chance acquaintance at the ex
•■» ternal beauties of the imperial
city of Philyorgo, a huge rec
tilinear edifice of enormous height
rising sheer from the sea, I was soon
made acquainted with an additional
quality of the invention, and that was
that what had been done by it for the
vision had also been done for the
sense of hearing. Nothing but con
fused sounds reached me at first—a
heavy, dull roar, made up, as it seem
ed, of a million voices all going at
once, something like the incessant
soundings of the waves of the ocean
beating upon some distant shore. And
then, as by a manipulation of the
screws of the instrument. I brought
the whole spectacle into closer range,
the sounds began to take on specific
character. A huge airship hovering
above the outskirts of the city was
the first individual thing to catch my
attention, and I account It a great
piece of good luck that such was the
case, since had it not been for the
guidance of its pilot I should have
lost many details of interest in this
superb city of 4,307. The airship, as it
turned out, was one of the vehicles
of the Sightseeing in Phhyorgo com
pany, and was In charge of a gentle
man whose voice justified his claims
to have lived for ten years on nothing
but megaphones. His craft was oc
cupied by a merry party of sightseers,
among whom were a dozen or more ex
tremely charming young women—a
fact that I found most cheering, since
it suggested to my mind that, however
great other changes might prove to be,
the institution of the American girl had
passed do\vn the ages undisturbed in
its glorious .perfection.
"At this point," cried the megaphone
bryd pilot, "we see the southern ex
posure of the city of Philyorgo, the
commercial capital of the universe. It
is 228 miles in length, extending from
what was once the city of New York
on the north to the ancient city of
Washington on the south, and from
base to sky line runs 1,600 feet above
the level of the sea. As you are aware,
it is the greatest commercial aggre
gation in the universe, having a great
°r| ij&jj^ation 'than Mars, Saturn, the
Great l)ipper and Europe combined,
and is the result of the annexation by
the city of Chicago of New York, Phil
adelphia, "Washington and other small
er cities lying between. It consists of
thirty different strata, including base
ment »and roof, its resemblance to the
skyscraper of other times being due
to the superimposition of city upon
city, until the final plateau-like sky
line was reached, upon which dwell the
workers who during working hours go
below the various underlying sections
to which their business calls them."
"Ain't it a cute little city?" giggled
one of the young ladies in the airship.
"The various floors are connected
from basement to roof by fast flying
elevators, which 1 daily carry the public
to and from business at Hghtning
speed. In the basement are the fur
naces and dynamos by which the whole
city is heated and by which the motive
power for the rapid transit facilities
of Philyorgo is supplied. The first
floor above the basement contains all
the longitudinal rapid transit walks,
moving. without cessation around the
city day and night at rates of speed
varying from 400 to 500 miles an hour.
These lines of movable walks are ar
ranged in concentric parabolic circles,
so that,a traveler wishing to proceed
at the greatest rate of speed»by step
ping briskly from the fixed and im
movable walk on the outside across
the intervening circles toward the rap
idly moving innermost platform may
with perfect safety board the section
that is traveling with the greatest
velocity. By this means a wayfarer in
Philyorgo may go from one end of the
city to the other in a trifle under two
hours, finding at intervals of the ordi
nary -city block the express elevator?
that witt take him upward- to the
stratum he desires to reach.
This simple device for the convey
ance of the greatest number of persons
at the greatest rate : of specd ~ was • in
vented in." 2963 by Thomas A. , Testa
sixteenth, and has served materially to
do away with the ' frightful congestion
which prevailed prior to that time. No
charge is 'I made for the use |of these
: movable walks, the whole ■ expense be
ing defrayed by the municipal govern
; ment. The ~ floor ; above Is; given over.
; entirely %to cars containing ! seats. 1: Of
' these there are five superimposing sec
tions and one hundred and twenty-sev
en lateral parallel lines, running trains
every two minutes ;at ; the? rate '■'. of "a"
hundred miles; an hour and so sched
uled : that at every corner at least one
train :is continually ; stopping to take
on and set down .passengers.- The ■ fare
for any f distance, is: 1 cent.: There are
also Rockefeller-Morgan pipe lines
fastened. to the roof of this rapid trnsit
section, by ;., which, , on - payment of; 5
cents," a traveler may provide himself
with a private leather case and be shot
through a ;pneumatic tube at the' rate
of v a thousand .miles a minute. This Is
used largel - by financiers who "wish-to
go hurriedly from:the Atlantic end of
Philyorgo " out Ito ' the % Lake Michigan
section,-, where stood the :former city of
Chicago, and vice versa, and is design
ed wholly for long distance • traffic"
"I ■ should think it would be ' danger
™l ;*? *£ aS ! .ofx a collisIon."? suggested
one of the fair travelers - r - .
w^ *Wu Uld thi nk so '" smiled the; pi
lot, but -. it was discovered as long ago
as the twentieth century that two
ciers. meeting head on. could go
through each other without break!us-a
Lone or adding a drop of blood." ,-> •
The effect of this observation upon
my own nerve centers was such that
my hand still on the screw of the in
strument, shook the focus back six
hundred and thirty-eight years, so del
icate was the adjustment of this spec
trophone, and I found myself gaping
upon a stranded Florodora company
walking home from the north pole, but
I speedily rediscovered the airship and
it 3 party by a few turns of the screw
knob, and was in time to hear the pilot
describing the third stratum as the ar
tery for all the city trucking.
"It has the very great advantage not
only of keeping the wheels of com
merce constantly in motion," said the
guide, "but it confines to a single floor
of this great city about 70 per cent of
the bad language which in the early
days of New York and Chicago per
meated pretty much the whole city.
Above the trucking floor is the struc
ture devoted to the wholesale trade,
and above that is to be found the floor
whereon are located the department
stores and smaller shops. To get to
these shoppers use" the two strata
above one of which is devoted entirely
to the use of pedestrians and the other
to carriages. In, this way the maxi
mum of safety for foot passengers on
the highways is obtained, since persons
found walking on the carriage way are
promptly arrested, and of course it is
impossible, even in case of a runaway,
for a horse and carriage to"appear upon
the stratum devoted to pedestrians."
"How about automobiles and air
ships?" asked a timid passenger. "Out
where I live we're being run down by
automobiles all the time, and last
month an airship smashed in through
my flat window and came out on the
other side of the house, carrying my
bureau, all the electric light fixtures
and grand piano along with it."
"There is a special automobile floor
in the city of Philyorgo, and except on
the roof, where the people live when
they are not working, the city is air
ship proof."
"One whole floor given over to auto
mobiles?" cried another passenger.
"Well—almost. Automobiles and
undertaking establishments," said the
guide. "The city is arranged with an
eye to the greatest convenience of the
greatest number. Since the discovery
of the elixir of life 3010, by Prof. Koch
pasteur, the percentages of death
show that only three per cent die of
other than automobllious causes, and
for that reason the speedway and the
undertaking people were placed to
gether. Above these stands the stratum
given over to hotels and theaters. Fol
lowing the pace set by New York and
Chicago near the close of the nine
teenth century, it was found desirable
to have-an average of two large hotels
and one theater to every 18,000 square
feet of the city's superficial area. The
hotel dwelling population of Philyorgo
is now three and a half billion, one
third of whom are permanent, the bal
ance transient. A peculiarity of the
Philyorgo hotel as differentiated from
the hotels of ancient times is that in
each hostelry are to be found accom
modations ranging In price from the
Mills basis on the top floor to the $100 -
000 a year suites on the first, second
and third. In the Mills apartments the
patron enjoys a comfortable box stall
furnished with patent collabsible beds',
which by an automatic arrangement
worked from the office ejects the sleep
er to the floor at sunrise in order that
he may be at work betimes', and under
the operation of the compulsory bath
ing law, passed in 3036, the flooring of
the room, arranged like a trap door
yielding to the weight of the body,
lowers the occupant into a tank filled
with fresh hygeia water, charged with
electricity, and of an antiseptic quality
that materially Increases one's eager
ness for work while destroying all
germs that might prove detrimental
to the general good. The $100 000
suites, on the other hand, are the most
marvelously appointed apartments
known to modern science. The appli
ances invented by experts in luxury for
the promotion of the comfort of the
rich have attained to the highest de
gree of perfection, and the hotels of
Philyorgo now provide on this $100 000
basis anything a patron may call for
from a college education for his son to
a divorce from his wife. The baths
in these apartments run hot and cold
cologne of any desired scent, and a
weary traveler desirous of literary en
tertainment has only to turn the
needle of a dial to the name any popu
lar author printed thereon to have thJft
writer's latest novel read aloud to him
from phonographic cyclinders hidden
in the wainscoting and in the author's
H ' "^JtK^^S^^F Ji HH:^a mlVbm II I ' Mi in TttiliiffrllrfilffiM ' •
j^^^^^Bg^^ -^ -"^j 7^ a ■ nr > PBr * wk V 4^^ nil '
own voice. Grand and comic opera by
the best singers the world has known
is synilarly obtainable"
"How about the table?" asked an in
quisitive member of the party. "Do
they ever eat at these hotels?**
"It is the essence of perfection," re-
piled the guide. "Each apartment Is
provided with the Oscar Table d'Hote
powders, which when placed upon the
tip end of the tongue in the process of
dissolving impart to the palate all the
delectable sensations of the most ex
quisite table d'hote dinner conceivable
by the highest priced chefs in the uni
verse. The Public Dinner Tablet, con
structed on similar principle?, first
feeds tire consumer to his heart's con
tent and then lulls him into a delicious
sleep. In which he dreams he is hear
ing after dinner speeches by the most
eloquent masters of the art from the
time of Demosthenes and Depew down
to Gen. Horace Simeon Ford, present
head of the After Dinner Speakers*
union—but of the hotels anon. We
shall inspect them and the theaters
before our day's excursion is finished.
THERE io one man in Chicago who
has solved the puzzle of li**i:£
above and below himself. He
: has evolved out of many styles of
i architecture the model flat —the flac
Above this floor are the cafes and sa
loons, adjacent to which, on the floor
above we find the courts of justice,
city hall, prisons and other institutions
connected with the administration of
public affairs. And so it goes on up
ward toward the roof—floors for table
supplies, floors given over to schools
and playgrounds for children—until we
come to the first floor beneath the roof,
where are located the churches of
Phiiyorgo in groups, each group con
taining one each of all denominations—
and finally conies the roof, whereon,
high up in the open air, are th© homes
of the citizens of Phiiyorgo. stretching
east, west, north and south as far as
the eye can reach, on broad, beautiful
avenues, each dwelling having its own
grounds and gardens and filled with a
happy, work loving people, free from
debt and contented."
"That's fine," observed one of the
party, "especially the free from debt
part of it. How do you keep.the peo
ple in that condition?"
"It is the result of the Rockefeller-
Carnegie fund, established In 1910 by
the government, which confiscated the
possessions of these famous financiers
of the twentieth century," explained
the guide, "and kept untouched at
compound interest for a thousand
years. This has reached such pro
portions that the annual interest ac
cumulation placed at the disposal of
the public has rid the people of all
personal need for money."
» "But," observed a visitor from
Mars, "if all men share in this fund
how do some people have to live on
a Mills hotel basis and others enjoy
$100,000 a year?"
"It's perfectly simple,'' explained the
guide. "In the city of Phiiyorgo every
living person is employed by "the gov
ernment, no matter what his work, and
his share of the fund is based upon
the amount of service rendered."
"And do you mean to say that the
men who pay such sums for the lux-
urlous suites at the hotels are worth
that amount of money to their fellow
"Yes," said the guide. "Else they
would not enjoy such an income."
"That is a radical change," said the
visitor from Mars. "Up in my planet
the chaps who do that are about the
most useless persons in the social or
"Well." said the irufde, "that only
proves that you people in Mars haven't
progressed any further than New York
had as far back as 1904."
that's built on end, with no room for
a family below or above.
But this vertical flat, as the occupant
rails it, has more than this one claim
to fame. It is utilitarian in more ways
than one. It is a flat, so planned and
occupied, but it is at one and the same
time the church tower, church en
trance and monument.
The vertical flat stands at the corner
of and Is part of the First Congrega
tional church of South Chicago. From
a distance it looks like an ordinary
church tower—not a steeple, mind you,
but a tower such as you have seen in
the pictures of old English castles.
The average passerby would never sus-
Pect it to be anything but a pigeon
roost, a refuge in daytime for bats, and
the silk mill of a million spiders—just
as other church towers are.
Lives in the Tower
But it Isn't. This tower is the homa
of Rev. George A. Bird, who for twen
ty-three years has been pastor of the
largest Protestant church in South
Chicago. He planned the tower and
paid for it, and when he saw it was
going to cost him $6,000 he resolved to
make it useful as well as ornamental.
As the tower stands finished there are
few men who pay high rents for
cramped little five-room flats who
would not gladly change living places
with this minister—if it were not for
the stair climbing.
Twenty-three years ago and a littla
more Rev. Mr. Bird, then a young man
just blossoming into a preacher camo
West from Andover college and
preached for a short time in Englewood.
He had an ambition to be a foreign
missionary, but his plans went awry.
The year he came here the big steel
mills were being built at South Chi
cago. He went out there, where ha
thought he could find a substitute for
the foreign mission field, established
the Congregational church, and has*
been there ever since. The people out
in the smoky suburb think a good deal
of this man, and they say he has don«
a great deal for South Chicago, but
they all confess they believe the great
est thing he ever did was to build a
memorial home with one room piled
on top of another.
A City of Spires
When a person goes to South Chi
cago he may easily surmise why a
man who has lived in the suburb twen
ty-three years would like to live in a
tower. The people out there have the
tower, dome and steeple habit. From
one street crossing twenty-nine dif
ferent designs of towers can be count
ed, and even then you can't see one
fifth of the suburb. Of all these many
towers Rev. Mr. Bird's vertical flat is
the greatest. The church, of course.
Is supposed to be the main part of
the edifice, but In this case it is only
a supposition, for it is a case of the
tail wagging the dog. The tower la
bigger, handsomer, lighter and newer
than the church proper.
Three years ago the church had
neither tower nor steeple, but it had a
place where one ought to be. At one
corner of the edifice was a vacant plat
of ground, 18x20 feet in dimensions.
When other denominations built
churches the Congregntionalists asked
one another if It would not be a good
idea to put a steeple on their church
too, but something came up each time
to kill the project. For nine years Col
lowing 1893 the church's appearance
was not altered. The building was good
enough. The membership constantly
grew. The Sunday school found new
pupils each month. The entertainments
always brought out a person for every
pew. It hasn't been a church of many
changes. It has had but one pastor, A.
G. Ingraham has always been Sun-lay
school superintendent.
Three years ago occurred the d,eath
of Mrs. Bird, who had always been an
earnest worker in the church, and who
had spent the greater part of twenty
years in an effort to help in every man
ner the people of the town in which
she lived. At the time of Mrs. Rird'a
death the minister lived in a small
frame cottage several blocks distant
from the church. Later, when ha
wanted to get nearer to the church, ho
could lind no house.
He Wanted a Homo
"I'll build a home," he told the mem
bers of his church. And then ha
thought of the plan for which he had
been secretly savins his money. He
wanted the church to have a large or
gan, and he wanted it to have a
"I can't build a home and a church
steeple and buy an organ," he said.
'"Which one had I better spend my
money for?"
"We will buy the church organ if
you want to build a home," the mem
bers told the minister.
"But the steeple?" he asked.
"Let the steeple go," they answered.
The minister said he would take their
advice, but he couldn't get away from
the idea that the church ought to have
a steeple. After some one had sug
gested that the steeple be built as &
monument to Mrs. Bird he was ready
to abandon the idea of having a home
of hia own.
Every time he met a church member
he had a talk about that steeple. Some
suggested that it be high and pointed.
Others thought a dome would look
better. Some wanted it built this way
and others that way.
"What's the use of steeples, any
how?" the minister asked himself one
day. "They cost a lot of money and
can be seen from afar, and —and that's
about all."
Tower and Home, Too
He had almost given up the idea of
building the spire when the subject
was again brought up.
•'The thing would be all right if you
could live In it," said one of the mem
"I can live In it," he said. "That's
what I'll do. I'll build a tower, a sort
of vertical flat building. I won't mind
climbing the stairs. We'll have a
steeple on our church -and I'll have my
The Rev. Mr. Bird commissioned an
architect to complete plans for a ver
tical flat, modeled after an old English
tower. He told how many rooms he
wanted; the architect told him how
high the tower would have to be.
"I want the rooms large, light, and
airy." said the minister.
"Oh, those on top will be airy
enough; don't worry," said the archi
Not long after that the brick and
stone masons were at work. Within
a short time they had the tower com
pleted, ar*d the Rev. Mr. Bird moved
into his new home.
This home is a curious place. The
first or ground floor is Just as It would
have been if the church people had
built an ordinary spire. It is the main
entrance to the church and auditorium.
It is divided by a partition, however,
and from this little room cut off from
one side of the entrance a stair leads
to the second floor. This room is but
14x16 feet in size and is mo3tly win
dows. The room was set aside for a
peculiar purpose. It is the matrimonial
room, in which the young people who
come to the Rev. Mr. Bird to be mar
ried are taken. The windows are of
stained glass, to prevent the curious
people in the street from watching the
ceremony. More than a score of cou
ples have been married in that room,
and several of the principals have car
ried on their courtships across the sea.
The kitchen contains a gas stove,
and is completely fitted out. Rev. Mr.
Bird cooks his own breakfasts. His
other meals he eats e'sewhere. Th«
minister is his own ho'asekeeper, and
that he is a- neat one is shown by the
cleanliness of this kitchen. He couM
give most housewives a few valuable
pointers in the use of the scrub brush.

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