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Scale Distances or Dimensions

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New York to Scale
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Credit: Alan Turkus
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aturkus/454776951/
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

How can you take a city and shrink it down so that it fits into a single room? In the 1960s, architects, artists, and craftsmen teamed up to build the world’s largest scale model of New York City. The "Panorama of the City of New York" debuted at the 1964 World’s Fair. It remains the largest city model in the world.

Down the Scales

In the average dollhouse, one inch represents one foot in real life. In the Panorama of the City of New York, each inch stands for 100 feet in real life. The model is on display at the Queens Museum. It takes up over 9,300 square feet of floor space. Over the years, architectural firms have continued to add to the display. It now contains every building built before 1992. 895,000 buildings dazzle visitors. They include major landmarks such as the Empire State building and tiny apartment buildings and corner stores.

Credit: John Catsoulis
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ExeterBank_modelrailway.JPG
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

People make scale models of all sorts of things. Model railroad lovers often built elaborate towns and landscapes for their trains. New York artist Alan Wolfson builds cardboard models of New York City neighborhoods and storefronts, complete with advertising posters, deli counters, and street signs.

See for yourself: http://alanwolfson.net/index.htm

Explore More

Watch the following videos for a look at the Panorama of the City of New York and to hear Alan Wolfson discuss his work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bccSqaO6Jdo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnhDOmyYFPo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2WIIOiOPqU

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Alan Turkus; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aturkus/454776951/; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: John Catsoulis; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:ExeterBank_modelrailway.JPG; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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