Design for the Real World: Parachute Jump

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Design historian Steven Heller tells the story of the parachute jump, the seaside landmark known as the "Eiffel Tower of Coney Island." Originally built as an amusement ride for the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the structure mirrored the architectural boom that was happening in Manhattan at the same time. “The great skyscrapers of New York City were rising higher and higher as Coney Island used that technology and brought it out to this here suburb,” Heller says. But this monumental design let visitors to the top float all the way down.

(Originally aired: July 05, 2003)