Fictional Infrastructure Cities: Gotham
Batman’s homeland is, of course, an invented city, but in its image there are a lot of details that are peculiar to very real American megacities. It is still not known for certain which of them served as the main prototype. According to various versions, it could be Chicago, and Vancouver, and Vancouver. That’s because Batman’s mythology has been formed over the decades by different authors who have different ideas about what the background should be for the deeds of a superhero. The result was something like a letter from Uncle Fedor to his parents. Dennis O’Neill, one of the comic book authors, gave the following definition: “Gotham is Manhattan below 14th Street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest November night.” Indeed, Gotham has many similarities with New York. Broadway is easy to guess on Grand Avenue, in the modernist gallery Flugelheim – the Guggenhaum Museum, Union Square – respectively, Times Square, and the Statue of Justice, “Lady Gotham” – a direct allusion to the Statue of Liberty.
The architectural appearance of old Gotham was formed as a result of the collaboration of the young architect Cyrus Pinckney and Solomon Wayne, ancestor of Bruce Wayne. Old Wayne sold most of his business and took a huge loan to invest in development. From Pinckney’s point of view, the city was to become “a shrine, stronghold and fortress” for the ideals of civilization. His project provided for an interconnected mechanism of many details, in which the rear could not even exist separately. So there was a single financial and business center of Gotham, designed in a style that combines the features of Gothic and Art Deco. But already during the life of Solomon Wayne, the city turned from a stronghold of virtue into a boiling cauldron of crime, corruption and vice. The deadly blow to the old Gotham and its central development was caused by the so-called “Cataclysm” – a powerful earthquake, as it later turned out, arranged by Lex Luther. Actually, Luther undertook to rebuild the city – but to his taste – in the spirit of modern megacities. It took him only six months to complete all the work.
Gotham City is not just a city, it is a place to fight crime. Crime partly forms its structure. In general, Gotham is a rather gloomy place, entire areas of which are controlled by various representatives of the criminal world. Especially strong are their positions in the East End area. However, in other locations, supervillains have their own assets. So, the Diamond Quarter and Fashion Quarter are controlled by the Penguin. He also owns the Iceberg Lounge nightclub – a two-story building with a restaurant hall measuring 12.8 thousand square feet (1177.6 square meters), a pool for penguins and seals, a dance floor stylized as a ship deck. All decor is designed in the “polar” style. But, of course, this is all cover for the secret villainous office and arsenal. Penguin Ally Max Shrek owns the Gotham Plaza shopping and entertainment center.
Among other well-known establishments of Gotham, one can name the My Alibi grill bar, the Finnegan bar, the club of Paradise, popular with the police. One cannot fail to mention both the digitalis private privileged house, access to which is possible only by invitation, and the Cherry Fighting Club in the dangerous area of Tesniny.
Do not think that Gotham is only an attraction for committing crimes and punishing criminals. It is also a major educational center. The city has a municipal Higher School, a private Brentwood Academy, Hilltop Elementary School, and, in fact, Gothenburg University. Medical infrastructure is also at a high level. In the eponymous series featured institutions such as the adult and children’s Gotham hospitals, the Gotham Medical Clinic, Brass Hospital and, of course, Wayne Hospital. But the most famous object of this line is a hospital for the mentally ill Arkem (as in the case of Jason Statham, “x” cannot be read). True, this is not so much a hospital as a prison, where Batman’s most dangerous opponents are kept (and from where they periodically run away).
Gotham City does not forget about public spaces. The city has at least seven parks on its balance sheet. The main one is called Robinson Park – a tribute to the creators of comics to the artist Jerry Robinson, who, in fact, painted the canonical image of the Joker. In addition, I must say about the entertainment park “Neskuchnaya Mile”, in which there are “roller coasters” and a Ferris wheel. Gotham is famous for its zoo, public library, opera and Monarch Theater.
Gotham’s industrial potential is based on numerous Wayne businesses. But other industrial giants are based in the city. Firstly, these are two chemical enterprises – Ace Chemical Processing (where the Joker got his famous burns) and Kane Chemical Processing. Gotham is a major port. It has extensive docks, some of which are owned by Trident Intercontinental Shipping, which specializes in large-scale shipping.