Midtown isn't under a giant glass dome, but it could have (should have?) been. At the very least someone brought up the idea: Back in 1960, architectural visionary R. Buckminster Fuller proposed putting a geodesic dome measuring one mile high and 1.8 miles over a stretch of Manhattan running from 62nd to 22nd Streets. Its purpose? To keep the busiest part of the city not too hot and not too cold. Also, dry: Fuller noted the savings in snow removal would pay for the dome in 10 years (today, we have something else taking care of the snow—climate change).
Fuller's dome was just one of the countless, ambitiously wacky schemes for New York—from a system of pneumatically-propelled elevated trains crisscrossing town to a silvery Guggenheim Branch in Lower Manhattan—dreamed up over the years. Any one of them would have drastically changed the city as we know if realized, but what if all of them had actually been built?
That's the premise of a show at the Queens Museum coming up in September. But first, they need your help in getting it up. The museum has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $35,000 for “Never Built New York,” an exhibition that looks at “200 years of visionary architectural and urban designs that never came to be.” A central feature of the show will be 70 miniature models of futuristic fantasies installed within the Museum’s renowned Panorama of the City of New York—among them, a 1930 tower for MoMA resembling stacked Jenga blocks and a state-of-the-art stadium for Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens. You can check out some of the fanciful renderings below, and if you’re interested in contributing, click here.