Is This City of Future?
By Stan Sulkes, Cincinnati Post, October 27, 1998
"My first name means 'city of gold,'" explains Orville Simpson the Second. And no parents could have been more prescient than his unless, perhaps, they had named him "city of reason."
For true to his name, Simpson, 75, has spent the last 38 years consumed with his vision of a radically new city one based on reason and efficiency.
He calls it Victory City because "it represents the victory of rationality."
It is unlikely that the world is ready for a rational city, but should it ever come to its senses, Simpson is ready.
His Hyde Park apartment, in fact, is hostage to his sustaining vision: Tables are heaped with blueprints, scale models, maps, artist renderings and everything else necessary to make Victory City a reality.
Simpson the subject of a Life Magazine feature in 1987 has already invested $100,000 of his own money in the project.
"Cities are obsolete," he says.
In his conception, all of Dayton, Ohio, with its 182,000 inhabitants and 217 square miles could be encompassed in a compact Victory City measuring only 3 square miles.
A typical city would contain seven linked buildings each 102 stories which would house not only residences, but light industry, offices and shopping. Apartments would be rented, rather than owned. Indestructible, they could be renovated in 10 minutes.
Floors would be fashioned of poured concrete; walls would be snap-out modular ones; and furniture would be bolted to the floor.
Kitchens would be banned. "They're fire hazards and inefficient," he says.
Instead, residents would eat in huge cafeterias an idea prompted by Simpson's Army days but his plan adds a novel twist: Diners would be transported by Ferris wheels.
Dining would become educational, with films about the evolution of man projected onto the walls.
Since efforts to raise money for this Utopian scheme have failed, Simpson has recently gone online with his project.
His Web site has potential to reach a global audience of investors; moreover, he says it may prove educational for architects and city planners.
It also allows Simpson to display his project without having to carry around 5-and-a-half-foot scale models.
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