I saw this maple and bakelite (a type of plastic) cabinet by Paul T. Frankl at The Met this past weekend, and while I like it a lot as a beautiful piece of furnture, I also like it as an early 20th Century homage to skyscrapers. Despite being made as furniture, it does have a title of “Skyscraper” and was made in 1927.
Frankl was born in Vienna, Austria, and studied architecture in Berlin. He came to the United States in 1914, and settled in New York City. He opened a gallery space on 48th Street, calling his company “Skyscraper Furniture.” I think it has a strong resemblance to the General Electric Building (below right), although I see that it wasn’t built until a few years after Frankl made his cabinet, so it couldn’t have been based on it.
Considering his company was called “Skyscraper Furniture,” let’s take a look at a few other pieces. Clockwise, from top left: Desk, circa 1925; another Skyscraper from 1927; Skyscraper Step Table, 1925; and Skyscraper Bookcase, circa 1928.