"Make no little plans" & "23 Skidoo"

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Sat May 4 03:21:24 UTC 2002

   From the NEW YORK TIMES, 3 May 2002, Antiques by Wendy Moonan (on the N-Y
Historical Society's exhibit about the Flatiron Building), Pg. E43, col. 2:

   In 1900, Samuel Newhouse, a New York developer, bought the land to build a
modern office building.  He hired Daniel H. Burham, who had been an
archiotectural consultant to the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and (Col.
3--ed.) was part of the Chicago School of architecture.  Burnham's genius was
to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the stand-alone site.
Following his motto, "Make no little plans--they have not the power to stir
men's blood," Burnham chose a noble geometric form and then raised it 21

   A quick web search of the non-Fred Shapiro sites shows that the quote is:
"Make no little plans.  They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably
themselves will not be realized."  The NEW YORK TIMES misquoted "power" for
Burnham's "magic."  According to this web version of the quotation, Burnham
also gave us "Think Big."
   But when did Burnham say this "motto"?  According to several sites, it was
during Burnham's preparation for the "Chicago Plan of 1909."  The year was
   Thus, according to today's TIMES, the 1907 quote was a motto for the 1902
Flatiron Building!

   Col. 4:  "The wind is memorialized again in John Sloan's 'Dust Storm,
Fifth Avenue' (1906) and a cartoon of policemen shouting '23 skidoo' to men
ogling women's ankles as hems were kicked up."
   The phrase "23-skidoo!" was extremely popular in 1906 and was applied to
everything, but, as I've shown here, it does not derive from the Flatiron
Building.  If you go to the Museum of the City of New York's web page, right
after my "Big Apple" work (Did MCNY get the link to the online "Big Apple"
column right?), you'll find this error about "23-skidoo" immortalized for all
New Yorkers.


   My Dell rebate form is in the mail, and we'll see if I get it in "8-10
weeks."  What a scam this is.
   My travel info arrived today.  I will leave NYC on Monday, May 13th, and
return from Georgia/Armenia/Azerbaijan on Wednesday, May 29th.

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