The Beaux-Arts Architects annual ball on January 23, 1931 saw some unusual costumes. Around two dozen architects attended the function as the famous buildings they created. Held in the main ballroom of the Hotel Astor, the party’s theme was “”Fête Moderne – a Fantasie in Flame and Silver” and tickets sold for $15. New York Times advertised the event as something “modernistic, futuristic, cubistic, altruistic, mystic, architistic and feministic.” New York Times writer Christopher Gray described the event as “one of the great parties of the last century,” in his 2006 article about the affair. According to Gray, the party was meant to “recognize the dawning of a new age of architecture and, coincidentally, the new age of financial gloom” as the Great Depression drew closer.
Christopher Gray, “A New Age of Architecture Ushered in Financial Gloom,” The New York Times, January 1, 2006.