New York City is a metropolis in constant flux — always reinventing and reorganising itself to suit the whims of its populace. Our friends at Oobject have assembled some of the best and most outlandish ideas to “improve” the Big Apple.
Gustav Lindenthal’s design for a colossal bridge accross the Hudson
Unlike many of the other designs here, this was not just conceptual, the corner stone for it still exists and Lindenthal designed the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges,which makes the statistics about it all the more incredible.
“The bridge was to be 6,000 feet long (nearly twice the length of the George Washington Bridge), 200 feet wide, and 200 feet above the river. It was designed to carry 12 railroads, 24 lanes of traffic, and 2 pedestrian promenades.” The towers would have been taller than the Woolworth building.
1881, New York in a few years from now
1960s Superstudio Continuous Monument crashing through downtown Manhattan
Superstudio were a seminal Italian conceptual architecture group. In this proposal the planet would be covered in a continuous structure based on a ruthlessly consistent grid.
Raymond Loewy, 10 storey helicopter landing pad over Bryant Park, 1941
Buckminster Fuller, Geodesic Dome over Midtown Manhattan
Just Imagine — NY in 1980 imagined from the Great Depression
Airport-Docks for New York, 1931
Paul Rudolph’s gigantic cross-Manhattan proposal for Robert Moses
Plan to drain the East River
Mies van der Rohe Proposal for Battery Park, 1957-1959
We tend to associate Battery Park with Battery Park City, which is on the opposite side of the tip of Manhattan from this scheme. Its a great shame that these were never built, because what was is possibly the worst of all the modernist developments in NY.
Buckminster Fuller, power plant Harlem condos
Each residential block would have been 100 floors and house 45,000 people.