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Streamline Moderne

The Normandie Hotel, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, was inspired

by the ocean liner SS Normandie and displays the ships original
Daily Express Building, Manchester, UK, 1939
Streamline Moderne, or Art Moderne, is a late type of
the Art Deco architecture and design that emerged in the
1930s. Its architectural style emphasized curving forms,
long horizontal lines, and sometimes nautical elements.

1 Background

Gdynia Maritime University, Poland, 1937

ultra-modernized and streamlined the designs of every-

day objects. Manufacturers of clocks, radios, telephones,
cars, furniture, and many other household appliances em-
braced the concept.
The style was the rst to incorporate electric light into
architectural structure. In the rst-class dining room of
the SS Normandie, tted out 193335, twelve tall pillars
Greyhound bus terminal, Cleveland, Ohio
of Lalique glass, and 38 columns lit from within illumi-
The rst streamline buildings evolved from the work nated the room. The Strand Palace Hotel foyer (1930),
of New Objectivity artists, a movement connected to preserved from demolition by the Victoria and Albert
the German Werkbund, that was initiated by Hermann Museum during 1969, was one of the rst uses of in-
Muthesius (see e.g. Mossehaus). ternally lit architectural glass, and coincidentally was the
rst Moderne interior preserved in a museum.
As the Great Depression of the 1930s progressed, Amer-
icans saw a new aspect of Art Decoi.e., streamlin- The Streamline Moderne was both a reaction to Art Deco
ing, a concept rst conceived by industrial designers who and a reection of austere economic times; Sharp angles
stripped Art Deco design of its ornament in favor of the were replaced with simple, aerodynamic curves. Exotic
aerodynamic pure-line concept of motion and speed de- woods and stone were replaced with cement and glass.
veloped from scientic thinking. Cylindrical forms and Art Deco and Streamline Moderne were not necessar-
long horizontal windowing also may be inuenced by ily opposites. Streamline Moderne buildings with a few
constructivism. As a result, an array of designers quickly Deco elements were not uncommon but the prime movers


Former Star Ferry Pier in Central, Hong Kong, now demolished

Club Moderne, Anaconda, Montana

J.W. Knapp Company Building (1937), Lansing, MI

Bathers Building, now the Maritime Museum (1937) in San

Franciscos Aquatic Park, evokes a streamlined doubleended

Hamilton Hydro-Electric System Building (1935), Hamilton, On-


behind streamline design (Raymond Loewy, Walter Dor-

win Teague, Gilbert Rohde, Norman Bel Geddes) all dis-
liked Art Deco, seeing it as eete and falsely modern
essentially a fraud.
Star Ferry Pier in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong PWA Moderne was a related style in the United States
of buildings completed between 1933 and 1944 as part
of relief projects sponsored by the Public Works Admin-
istration (PWA) and the Works Progress Administration

(WPA). Streamlining became a widespread design practice for

automobiles, railroad cars, buses, and other vehicles in
the 1930s. Notable automobile examples include the
2 Characteristics 1934 Chrysler Airow, the 1950 Nash Ambassador Air-
yte sedan with its distinctive low fender lines, as well
as Hudson's postwar cars, such as the Commodore, that
Common characteristics of Streamline Moderne and were distinctive streamlinersponderous, massive au-
Art Moderne tomobiles with a style all their own.[1]
Streamline style can be contrasted with functionalism,
Horizontal orientation
which was a leading design style in Europe at the same
Rounded edges, corner windows time. One reason for the simple designs in functionalism
was to lower the production costs of the items, making
Glass brick walls them aordable to the large European working class.[2]
Streamlining and functionalism represent two very dif-
Porthole windows ferent schools in modernistic industrial design, but both
reecting the intended consumer.
Chrome hardware

Smooth exterior wall surfaces, usually stucco 1921 The Rumpler Tropfenwagen was to be the rst
(smooth plaster nish) streamlined car.
1922 Aurel Persu automobile was the rst car to
Flat roof with coping
have the wheels inside its aerodynamic line.
Horizontal grooves or lines in walls 1934 Tatra 77 is the rst serial-produced truly aero-
Subdued colors: base colors were typically light dynamically designed automobile.
earth tones, o-whites, or beiges; and trim colors 1939 Schlrwagen - Subsequent wind tunnel tests
were typically dark colors (or bright metals) to con- yielded a drag coecient of only 0.113. Incredible
trast from the light base then and still extremely impressive today.
1929: The Schienenzeppelin or rail zeppelin was
The Normandie Hotel, which opened during 1942, is
an experimental railcar which resembled a zeppelin
built in the stylized shape of the ocean liner SS Nor-
airship in appearance. It accelerated the railcar to
mandie, and it includes the ships original sign. The
230.2 km/h (143 mph) setting the land speed record
Sterling Streamliner Diners were diners designed like
for a petrol powered rail vehicle.
streamlined trains.
Although Streamline Moderne houses are less common 1934 Chrysler Airow
than streamline commercial buildings, residences do ex- 1948 Hudson Commodore
ist. The Lydecker House in Los Angeles, built by Howard
Lydecker, is an example of Streamline Moderne design in 1951 Nash Statesman Airyte
residential architecture. In tract development, elements
1958 Airstream travel trailer
of the style were frequently used as a variation in postwar
row housing in San Franciscos Sunset District. New York Central steam locomotive restyled by in-
dustrial designer Henry Dreyfuss, 1938
Santa Fe Railway's San Francisco Chief, a late
3 Industrial design 1940s streamlined design with paint scheme dating
from the late 1930s
The style was applied to appliances such as electric
clocks, sewing machines, small radio receivers and vac- Toaster
uum cleaners. Their manufacturing processes exploited Bakelite radio
developments in materials science including aluminium
and bakelite. Compared to Europe, the United States in
the 1930s had a stronger focus on design as a means to
increase sales of consumer products. Streamlining was
4 Notable examples
associated with prosperity and an exciting future. This
hope resonated with the American middle class, the ma- 4.1 In architecture and design
jor market for consumer products. A wide range of goods
from refrigerators to pencil sharpeners was produced in 1923 Mossehaus, Berlin. Reconstruction by Erich
streamlined designs. Mendelsohn and Richard Neutra

1926: Long Beach Airport Main Terminal, Long

Beach, California

1928: Lockheed Vega, designed by John Knud-

sen Northrop, a six-passenger, single-engine aircraft
used by Amelia Earhart

1928-1930: Canada Permanent Trust Building,


1930: Strand Palace Hotel, London; foyer designed

by Oliver Percy Bernard

19301934: Broadway Mansions, Shanghai, de-

signed by B. Flazer of Palmer and Turner

1931: The Eatons Seventh Floor in Toronto,

Canada, designed by Jacques Carlu, in the former
Eatons department store

1931: Napier, New Zealand, rebuilt in Art Deco and

Streamline Moderne styles after a major earthquake

1933: Casa della Giovent del Littorio, designed by

Luigi Moretti, Rome

1933: Ty Kodak building in Quimper, France, de-

signed by Olier Mordrel

1933: Southgate tube station, London

Judges tower in the Aquatic Park Historic District, San Francisco 1933: Burnham Beeches in Sherbrooke, Victoria,
Australia. Harry Norris architect

1933: Merle Norman Building, Santa Monica, Cal-

ifornia See also History of Santa Monica, California

1933: Midland Hotel, Morecambe, Morecambe,


19331940: Interior of Chicago's Museum of Sci-

ence and Industry, designed by Alfred Shaw

1934: Pioneer Zephyr, the rst of Edward G. Budd's

streamlined stainless-steel locomotives

1934: Chrysler Airow, the rst mass-market

streamline automotive design

1934: Hotel Shangri-La (Santa Monica), California

1935: Ford Building (San Diego, California),

Balboa Park

1935: The De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea,


1935: Pan Pacic Auditorium, Los Angeles

20th Century Limited (1938), train designed by Henry Dreyfuss
1935: Edicio Internacional de Capitalizacin,
Media related to streamlined locomotives at Wikimedia Com-
Mexico City, Mexico

1935: The Hindenburg, Zeppelin passenger accom-

4.1 In architecture and design 5

1935: The interior of Lansdowne House on 1938: 20th Century Limited, New York City
Berkeley Square in Mayfair, London
1938: Jones Dog & Cat Hospital, West Hollywood,
1935: The Hamilton Hydro-Electric System Build- California, by Wurdeman & Beckett (remodel of
ing, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 1928 original construction)[4]

1935: MV Kalakala, the worlds rst streamlined 1939: Bartlesville High School, Bartlesville, Okla-
ferry homa

1935-1956: High Tower Court, Hollywood Heights, 1939: Coca-Cola Building (Los Angeles),
Los Angeles[3] California

1936: Lasipalatsi, in Helsinki, Finland, functionalist 1939: First Church of Deliverance, Chicago, Illinois
oce building and now a cultural and media center
1939: Marine Air Terminal, LaGuardia Airport,
1936: Florin Court, on Charterhouse Square in New York
London, built by Guy Morgan and Partners
1939: Road Island Diner, Oakley, Utah
1936: Campana Factory, historic factory in Batavia,
1939: New York Worlds Fair
1939: Cardozo Hotel, Ocean Drive, South Beach,
1937: Malloch Building, residential apartments at
Miami Beach, Florida
1360 Montgomery Street in San Francisco
1939: Royer Building in Ephrata, Pennsylvania
1937: B and B Chemical Company, in Cambridge,
Massachusetts, built by Coolidge, Shepley, Bulnch 1939: Daily Express Building, Manchester, England
& Abbott
1939: East Finchley tube station, London, England
1937: Belgium Pavilion, at the Exposition Interna-
tionale, Paris 1940: Gabel Kuro jukebox designed by Brooks
1937: TAV Studios (Brenemens Restaurant),
Hollywood 1940: Ann Arbor Bus Depot, Michigan

1937: Hecht Company Warehouse, Washington, 1940: Jai Alai Building, Taft Avenue Manila,
D.C. Philippines (demolished)

1937: Minerva (or Metro) Theatre and the Minerva 1940: Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, Califor-
Building, Potts Point, New South Wales, Australia nia

1937: Bathers Building in the Aquatic Park Historic 1940: Las Vegas Union Pacic Station, Las Vegas,
District, now the San Francisco Maritime National Nevada
Historical Park Maritime Museum
1941: Avalon Hotel, Ocean Drive, South Beach,
1937: Barnum Hall (High School auditorium), Miami Beach, Florida
Santa Monica, California
1942: Normandie Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico
1937: J.W. Knapp Company Building (department
1942: Mercantile National Bank Building, Dallas
store) Lansing, Michigan
1944: Huntridge Theater, Las Vegas, Nevada
1937: Wan Chai Market, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
1946: Gerry Building, Los Angeles, California
1937: River Oaks Shopping Center, Houston
1946: Canada Dry Bottling Plant, Silver Spring,
1937: Toronto Stock Exchange Building, mix of Art Maryland
Deco and Streamline Moderne
1946: Broadway Theatre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
1937: Pittsburgh Plate Glass Enamel Plant, in Mil-
waukee, Wisconsin, by Alexander C. Eschweiler 1947: Sears Building, Santa Monica, California
1938: Mark Keppel High School, Alhambra, Cali- 1948: Greyhound Bus Station, Cleveland
1949: Sault Memorial Gardens, Sault Ste. Marie,
1938: Normandie building, Mar del Plata Ontario
1938: Danum House, Doncaster, England 1949: Varsity Theatre, Davis, California

1950: Ocean Terminal, Southampton, England (de- PWA Moderne - a Moderne style in the United
molished 1983) States completed between 1933 and 1944 as part of
relief projects sponsored by the Public Works Ad-
1951: Federal Reserve Bank Building, Seattle, ministration (PWA) and the Works Progress Ad-
Washington ministration (WPA)
1954: Poitiers Theater designed by Edouard Lardil-
6 References
1955: Iowa State Bank & Trust Building, Faireld[5]
[1] Reed, Robert C. (1975). The Streamline Era. San Marino,
1955: Aetna Building (former Prudential Life Insur- CA: Golden West Books. ISBN 0-87095-053-3. OCLC
ance Building), Jacksonville, Florida, designed by 1339849.
KBJ Architects
[2] Nickelsen, Trine (15 June 2010). Aluminium en
19572006: Star Ferry Pier, Central, Hong Kong kulturhistorie (in Norwegian). Apollon. Retrieved 17
(demolished) February 2015.

1957: Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier, Hong Kong [3] Bettsky, Aaron (15 July 1993). A Hollywood Ending for
Those Who Take This Elevator to the Top. Los Angeles
1965: Hung Hom Ferry Pier, Hong Kong Times. Retrieved 17 February 2015.

1968-2014: Wan Chai Pier, Hong Kong (demol- [4] Bos, Sascha (16 July 2014). Historic 1938 Building
ished) Could Complicate Massive WeHo Development. LA
Weekly. Retrieved 17 February 2015.

[5] Lipman, Jonathan; Wright, Frank Lloyd (2003). Frank

4.2 In motion pictures Lloyd Wright and the Johnson Wax Buildings. Dover Pub-
lications. ISBN 9780486427485. Retrieved 17 February
Aircraft and buildings in William Cameron Men- 2015.
zies's 1936 movie Things to Come

The buildings in Frank Capra's 1937 movie Lost

Horizon, designed by Stephen Goosson
7 External links
The design of the Emerald City in the 1939 movie Streamline Moderne, Flickr
The Wizard of Oz
Streamline Moderne, Decopix
The main characters helmet and rocket pack in the
1991 movie The Rocketeer "Streamline Moderne & Nautical Moderne Archi-
tecture in Miami Beach", Miami Beach Magazine
The High Tower apartments, featured in the 1973
"San Francisco 1939 Modern 'Wedding Cake'",
lm The Long Goodbye and 1991 lm Dead Again[3]
The Malloch Apartment Building at 1360 Mont-
gomery St, San Francisco that serves as apartment
for Lauren Bacall's character in Dark Passage

5 See also
Art Deco

Constructivist architecture

Raygun Gothic

Googie architecture

Century of Progress Chicago's second Worlds Fair


Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques

dans la Vie Moderne (1937) (1937 Paris Exposition)

8 Text and image sources, contributors, and licenses

8.1 Text
Streamline Moderne Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streamline_Moderne?oldid=727418655 Contributors: Rmhermen, SimonP,
Hike395, Mulad, Mackensen, Wetman, Eugene van der Pijll, Flockmeal, Bearcat, Cutler, Marc Venot, DocWatson42, BenFrantzDale,
Leonard G., Gzuckier, User2004, Closeapple, EurekaLott, Jag123, Jcrocker, Guy Harris, Ricky81682, Editor99, Brookie, DonPMitchell,
KrisK, Hailey C. Shannon, Matilda, Sparkit, Squideshi, Vegaswikian, Mbutts, Kwharris, Wistungsten, Hydrargyrum, Awiseman, Doncram,
TimK MSI, John Campbell, Skeezix1000, Dondie, Flibirigit, Kintetsubualo, Quidam65, Betacommand, Polaron, Chris the speller, Bi-
atch, Scwlong, Minakomel, Duncancumming, Subcreature, OrphanBot, Model Citizen, My Lips Are Sealed, Howard the Duck, Dogears,
Will Beback, Fubaz, FairuseBot, Shrimp wong, VoxLuna, Erik Kennedy, Mcginnly, Stevo1000, CMG, Mikebrand, H1es-, DangApri-
cot, ST47, Kozuch, Omicronpersei8, Raoul NK, Thijs!bot, Seaphoto, CZmarlin, Sluzzelin, Altairisfar, Awien, Mapmark, Nyttend, Nick
Cooper, Smjwalsh, Smartings, Textorus, Verifalse!, IvoShandor, Drm310, Brenda Hmong, Jr, R'n'B, Merlin83b, Faststick2021, Keiz-
ers, AntiSpamBot, Molly-in-md, Andy Farrell, Jfv93, Hugo999, Joopercoopers, Xlance, Charlesdrakew, Champsdfw, Weetjesman, Andy
Dingley, EverGreg, Agilitynut, Colfer2, Slightlymuddy, LAX, Binksternet, Hellsing13, Jamesacollins, Foofbun, PixelBot, Account9000,
TBoaN, Camboxer, Rror, NellieBly, MarmadukePercy, Udittmer, Addbot, Jojhutton, Fladrif, Underwaterbualo, , Zorrobot, Gore-
gore~enwiki, Luckas-bot, Yobot, Lydeckerhouse, Leandroidecba, ChildofMidnight, NOrbeck, Solphusion~enwiki, Dmarsarch, ABIJXY,
Green Cardamom, Kohoutek1138, FrescoBot, JMS Old Al, Haeinous, Horst-schlaemma, Vpollman, Look2See1, Dewritech, Jjjuuussstt-
tiiinnn, Dagko, EdoBot, Barney Bruchstein, ClueBot NG, Lefringant, Snotbot, Mathew105601, Tom5551, Rezabot, Morgan Riley, Elec-
triccatsh2, Wbm1058, BG19bot, PhnomPencil, Stephenwmoss and Anonymous: 77

8.2 Images
File:Cleveland_Greyhound.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/Cleveland_Greyhound.jpg License: CC
BY 2.0 Contributors: Flickr Original artist: Colin Rose
File:Clock_Tower,_Star_Ferry_Pier_in_Central.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/40/Clock_Tower%
2C_Star_Ferry_Pier_in_Central.jpg License: CC BY-SA 2.5 Contributors: ? Original artist: ?
File:Club_Moderne,_Anaconda,_Montana.jpg Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/Club_Moderne%2C_
Anaconda%2C_Montana.jpg License: Public domain Contributors: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/displayPhoto.pl?path=/pnp/habshaer/
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English Wikipedia
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