Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/204

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Roadtown— The Commuters' Utopia

��Vitalizing the country with arteries of energy and life from the city

By Max Fleischer

��MR. EDGAR CHAMBLESS, who has devoted half a life-time to housing problems, has conceived Roadtown, which, if carried out, should give us all the advantages of the country with none of its disadvantages. The Roadtown plan of housing may be compared with the modern skyscraper hotel or office building. The vast number of tenants occupying these buildings, closely alined for economic dis- tribution of light, heat, power, vertical transportation, etc., by means which are self-contained within the structure, make it possible to rent an elegantly appointed room or modern office at a very moderate figure. But is it necessary to go up into the clouds against gravity to minimize the operating cost?

To see Roadtown through the eyes of the inventor, imagine a hotel skyscraper miles in height, as many miles as you dare imagine. Try five hundred miles at least. Have it fully equipped with every conceiv- able modern convenience, complete in every detail. Now, carefully lay this build- ing on its side until it reaches far across the country. This is Roadtown — a continuous unbroken line of

Food kept cold in this compartment

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��two-story rein- forced con- crete residences reaching hun- dreds of miles out into the open country. What were the elevators in the skyscraper are now the Road- town subways running in a trench under the building. The lighting, heating and dis- tribution prob- lems for these reoidences on the farm now solve them- selves for you. In such a building it seems possible to live in the country — with every city convenience.

��One may live a hundred miles from his office in the city and commute; for distance along Roadtown should be calcu- lated by time rather than by miles, since it is planned to have, in addition to local service, express trains traveling at terrific speed (over 200 miles per hour is not an impossibility with the Boyes Monorail), and as silently as the skyscraper elevator in its vertical plunge. Rows of screened windows under the porches of the houses will ventilate the subway.

Referring to the illustration, it will be noted that each house will have two private front gardens, one on either side. There will be no rears to these houses — nothing erected to obstruct light and venti- lation. Each house will be twenty-one feet wide by twenty feet deep and contain seven good-sized rooms. The walls, floors and ceilings will be of cement and sound- proof. Stairways will give access to the subways and to the continuous roof, which will be a roadway for pedestrians, skaters and light, rubber-tired vehicles. It will be illuminated at night with electric lights. A covered promenade in the center of the roof will pro-

��Food in containers kept hot during transit in this compartment.

���The automatic carriers which deliver meals already pre- pared from the community kitchen to the consumer's home

��tect the pedes- trians from rain. In the winter, it will be steam-heated, enclosed with glass panels. The promenade will thus be con- verted into a continuous sun parlor. At in- tervals, towers will be erected which will be used as social and shopping centers and con- tain schools, public service stations, libraries, theaters, heating-plants, telephone centrals, etc. The distance between these towers will be determined principally by the operative

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