The Unbuilt City Planned By, and For, Alcoholics

Have you ever felt as though society should be built around alcohol? By that I mean not simply allowing unfettered access to the commodity, but build an actual city around drinking as much as humanly possible? Hold onto your livers, because somebody actually proposed such a city. I first heard about this from a Cracked article, and while anyone can propose a crazy city, its promoter actually came somewhat close to making his alcohol-fueled dream a reality.

BoozeTown was a city proposal by a man named Mel Johnson during the 1950's, who yearned for a city where alcohol would be available in bars 24 hours a day. This was in a time before Las Vegas and other cities had all-night bars and drinking available.

This fits perfectly into the Fallout universe somehow.

"At first Mel was going to plan BoozeTown out with straight north/south and east/west roads, but he realized from his time in the old cities that the random layout of those cities was why they were so fun. Getting lost leads one towards new adventures that they otherwise would never have chanced upon. Also all streets would be named after alcohol related themes.

There would be an electric trolley system, “The BoozeCruise”, to bring the drinkers from bar to bar. He also wanted a series of moving sidewalks to help people along, ensuring a steady stream of laughs from watching drunks try to get on and off it." (Steemit)

Would you kindly hand me a dry martini?

He found a parcel of land near Steubenville Ohio, but the strict drinking laws there forced him elsewhere. After trying to convince authorities about the huge influx of tax dollars they would receive and still getting nowhere – his ideas were too wicked for them to allow it. So he then focused on northern Nevada and an island off of Mexico.

Much of what we know about BoozeTown has been summarized quite well in this article. What's incredible is how intricate of a plan it was - far from a simple city, his ideas for the city ranged from simple to highly controversial by even today's standards, such as a newspaper, a new currency (BoozeBucks), a police system that would provide an escort home or aid in transport to the hospital from the inevitable alcohol poisonings, rather than hand out punishments for infractions, as well as legal prostitution, and fallout shelters for what Johnson believed would be an inevitable nuclear war between the US and the USSR.

The proposal would have required at least $5,000,000 to begin, and Johnson was only worth about $250,000. According to him, he was close to securing funding on at least three occasions, but this may have simply been puffery. 

By 1960, he had officially abandoned the proposed town, leaving us all to use Las Vegas as the next closest thing to BoozeTown that actually exists.

Thanks as always for reading!


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