Alternate skylines

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  • altskylines01

    The only Gaudi outside Europe
    Architect Antoni Gaudi is famous for his otherworldly, curvilinear structures throughout Spain, including the unfinished Sagrada Famlia cathedral in Barcelona. Turns out he also had his eye on NYC. According to Juan Matamala y Flotats (the architect's former assistant), in 1908 Gaudi was approached by two American businessmen to design a hotel. The star-topped tower would've risen 1,181 feet (some claim it was slated for the site of the future WTC, which is why Gaudi fans floated it as a Ground Zero memorial). For reasons unknown, the "Hotel Attraction" never became a reality---unless you count the alternate reality of the TV show Fringe; the building was dropped into last season's finale.

  • altskylines02

    A Gehry Guggenheim
    In 2000, the folks at the Guggenheim had a dream: to construct a sprawling, Frank Gehry--designed arts complex on the East River at Wall Street. The undulating metal creation would have hung over the water, providing a park, galleries and a performing-arts center. Things looked good: The Guggenheim Foundation had money from the city and it had Gehry---but what it didn't have was a crystal ball. The post-9/11 economy put an end to the project.

  • altskylines03

    Another former tallest building in the world
    The Metropolitan Life North Building (that hulking pile of setback white blocks dropped next to the Met Life Tower at Madison Avenue and 24th Street) was designed to have 100 stories in the 1920s. Thanks to the Great Depression, though, those plans were abandoned for a much shorter 30-story structure, completed in 1950.

  • altskylines04

    A megabridge to New Jersey
    What would have been twice as long as the Brooklyn Bridge and nearly double the width of the George Washington Bridge? The never-built Hudson River span between Manhattan's West Side and Hoboken. In 1885, designer Gustav Lindenthal proposed a behemoth of a suspension bridge with 12 train tracks, but funding fell through after only a cornerstone was laid at 12th Street in Hoboken.

  • altskylines06

    ...a touching, important memorial
    Does anyone still remember that in 2003, a naive time of hope and belief, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation held a design competition for the Ground Zero site. There was so much possibility in the nine boundary-pushing finalist proposals, of which Daniel Libeskind's 1,776-foot tower was the winner. But we all know what happened next: Corporate interest crushed creativity, and Libeskind's plan was replaced by something much tamer.

    Click through for some of our favorite original submissions.

  • altskylines05

    Norman Foster's double towers leaned into and away from each other with a skin that bent and waved to give a different view every time you looked at it.

  • altskylines07

    Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, Charles Gwathmey and Steven Holl teamed up to craft a tic-tac-toe-board of a building, with horizontal shafts holding aerial gardens.

  • altskylines08

    Think (a group consisting of Rafael Violy, Frederic Schwartz, Ken Smith and Shigeru Ban) conceived two latticework specters of the original Twin Towers.

altskylines01

The only Gaudi outside Europe
Architect Antoni Gaudi is famous for his otherworldly, curvilinear structures throughout Spain, including the unfinished Sagrada Famlia cathedral in Barcelona. Turns out he also had his eye on NYC. According to Juan Matamala y Flotats (the architect's former assistant), in 1908 Gaudi was approached by two American businessmen to design a hotel. The star-topped tower would've risen 1,181 feet (some claim it was slated for the site of the future WTC, which is why Gaudi fans floated it as a Ground Zero memorial). For reasons unknown, the "Hotel Attraction" never became a reality---unless you count the alternate reality of the TV show Fringe; the building was dropped into last season's finale.

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Anonymous

Don't forget the Santiago Calatrava cantilevered box stack at South Street. That would have been cool. And now seems as dead as Gehry's Guggenheim.