It Looks Familiar

by Don Friedman on November 11, 2016


Another touristy photo from San Antonio. That tower off in the distance, in the center of the shot. I know I’ve seen it before…

It’s a 1927 skyscraper, originally the Smith-Young Tower, and it’s 400 feet tall, which is quite respectable for that era. But I’d never heard of it before I visited San Antonio, so that’s not why it looks familiar.

Oh yeah…it’s the headquarters of the most powerful man in Metropolis.


People talk about life imitating art and art imitating life. Sometimes it’s a feedback loop. Fritz Lang supposedly got the idea for Metropolis while riding the Fulton Ferry and looking at the lower Manhattan skyline in 1924.


I swear there are buildings from 1928-1930 that were influenced by the movie. That doesn’t mean that the Smith-Young Tower was, but there’s a reason the word “zeitgeist” is used.

Previous post:

Next post: