Architects dressed as their buildings, January 23, 1931. From left to right A. Stewart Walker as the Fuller Building, Leonard Schultze as the Waldorf-Astoria, Ely Jacques Kahn as the Squibb Building, William Van Alen as the Chrysler Building, Ralph Walker as the Wall Street Building and Joseph Freedlander as the Museum of the City of New York. Source: Still from Universal News Volume 3, Release 7 #1-10, January 19, 1931, National Archives and Records administration. View a clip from the National Archives of the 1931 Beaux-Arts Ball.
On January 13, 1931, the Society of Beaux-Arts Architects held a ball at the Hotel Astor in New York City. According to an advertisement for the event, anyone who paid $15 per ticket (big money during the Depression) could see a “hilarious modern art exhibition” and things “modernistic, futuristic, cubistic, altruistic, mystic, architistic and feministic.” Attendees also got to witness more than 20 famous architects dressed as buildings they had designed, some of them now fixtures of the New York City skyline.