Barbara Bracco

Symbols of Vertical Modernity: The Cultural Landscape of Milan from the Early Twentieth Century to the Pirellone

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Keywords: Milan; Urban Transformation; Skyscrapers; Pirellone; Postcards.

The essay illustrates the history of the main skyscrapers in Milan from the late 1800s to the second half of the last century. The author reconstructs this long-term story from different points of view. In addition to the history of the projects, particular attention is paid to the political and public debate on the vertical city and to the role of icon that Palazzo Pirelli took on in the years of the economic boom. Literature and cinema have told the urban and cultural transformation of the city as its «modernist perversions». But to give to Milan and Pirellone the role of national and popular symbol of the conquest of economy prosperity and modernity were the postcards to which the author dedicates the last part of this contribution.

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