Frank Lloyd Wright's Broadacre City, conceived in 1934–35, was the emblematic manifesto of decentralized urban planning. Its first public viewing in New York's urbanistic heart, Rockefeller Center, was heralded by Architectural Record in its April 1935 issue, and commended by Lewis Mumford in The New Yorker the same month. Wright explained that his city would accommodate “little farms, little homes for industry, little factories, little schools, a little university . . .” in four square miles, with the acre as the basic unit for 1,400 families. Interestingly, Wright included skyscrapers in his plan—but they stood apart amid open space.
During his long life, Wright (1867–1959) continually railed against skyscrapers for gloomily crowding cities—and for being mere buildings, not “architecture.” But he didn't ignore the high-rise. He designed reinforced-concrete alternatives to steel-frame structures hung with masonry beginning as early as 1913 with an unrealized, Sullivanesque, 24-story tower for The San Francisco Call newspaper. In 1956, Wright capped his career with his scheme for the Mile High Illinois project for Chicago, where an elongated spire tops off its 548 stories.