Skyscraper Appreciation Day, founded by Dr. Tom Stevens, is celebrated on August 10th, the birth date of William Van Alen, the primary architect behind the construction of the Chrysler Building, one of the most popular skyscrapers in New York City. Dr. Stevens started Skyscraper Appreciation Day so people can appreciate the engineering and architectural marvels we know as skyscrapers, which represent the triumph of reason and of man's industrial nature.
The Objectivist Party, which Dr. Tom Stevens founded on February 2, 2008, will celebrate Skyscraper Appreciation Day on August 10, 2010 and will encourage its members to do one or more of the following:
1. Research the history of skyscrapers.
2. Visit an interesting skyscraper near your home.
3. Select photos of your favorite skyscrapers and post them to the "Photos" section of the Skyscraper Appreciation Day Facebook Group located at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=41259490414&ref=ts
4. Visit "The Skyscraper Museum", a private, not-for-profit, educational corporation devoted to the study of high rise buildings, which is located in lower Manhattan. http://www.skyscraper.org/home.htm
5. Help spread the message of Objectivism and of the importance of human reason by joining the Objectivist Party http://www.objectivistparty.us/ by sending your full name and address, e-mail and contact phone number (indicating if it is a cell or home number) to Dr. Tom Stevens, Objectivist Party Chair, at DrTomStevens@aol.com (Membership is free and is open to anyone in the world)
Ayn Rand loved skyscrapers, not only for their phallic erectness, but also because they symbolized exactly what she stood for and what she thought was best about not only our country but the whole of Western civilization. She wrote the following paean to one such building in The Fountainhead:
The building stood on the shore of the East River, a structure rapt as raised arms. The rock crystal forms mounted in such eloquent steps that the building did not seem stationary, but moving upward in a continuous flow - until one realized that it was only the movement of one’s glance and that one’s glance was forced to move in that particular rhythm. The walls of pale gray limestone looked silver against the sky, with the clean, dulled luster of metal, but a metal that had become a warm, living substance, carved by the most cutting of all instruments - a purposeful human will; the skyscrapers, the shapes of man’s achievement on earth. (The Fountainhead, pgs. 300 & 327)
In an article entitled "The Skyscraper: A Gesture To Reason, Freedom and Human Life" (April 27, 2003) published in Capitalism Magazine, Joseph Kellard wrote:
The skyscraper's true symbolic gesture is captured best by philosopher Leonard Peikoff, when he said of his associate Ayn Rand: 'New York, the skyscrapers, everything that man had traversed from the time of the cave to the time of this glorious and industrial civilization, that was to [her the pinnacle of human achievement in physical terms.] It wasn't just acquiring philosophy. It was acquiring ideas, acquiring science and then remaking the earth accordingly. And she couldn't think of a more splendid and exciting and beautiful place than that view that you get of the skyscrapers when you don't see the details of each one, but the mass of ingenuity and talent soaring for the sky.'
Regarding New York's skyline, Ayn Rand said:
I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York's skyline... The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need?... When I see the city from my window - no, I don't feel how small I am - but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.
Dr. Tom Stevens currently serves as Chair of the Objectivist Party and as President of the Objectivist Party of New York. He founded Skyscraper Appreciation Day in 2008.