Curbed Chicago just passed along a vintage video clip from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill that provides an incredible throwback to cutting-edge graphics from 1984. SOM had always invested in computer technology as a visual aid, as this recent Chicago time lapse shows. But the retro charm of 9 Cities, lifted from a 16mm print, is hard to beat.
The camera steadily pans over nine computerized cities -- New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles -- to the effusive sounds of classical music. Viewers soar above the skyline, and in Chicago, spin around the Sears Tower (keeping it 1984 with the name) and Hancock Building, passing by the outlines of skyscrapers, with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill projects framed in white. This would be golden for the end credits alone.