10 Visions Of The Los Angeles That Could Have Been

Los Angeles isn't generally famous for its innovative urban design. But there have been many attempts to transform the city into a modern metropolis through visionary architecture and transportation projects. In their exhibition Never Built: Los Angeles, the Architecture and Design Museum is showing off the coolest of what might have been.

Frank Lloyd Wright Huntington Hartford Sports Club, 1947

Picture: Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation


B+U Downey Office Building, 2009

Picture: B+U Architects


Goodell Monorail, 1963

This monorail system would have carried passengers between downtown and LAX.

Picture: Courtesy Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive


John Lautner Griffith Park Nature centre 1972

Picture: Getty Research Institute


KiribatiKelker & DeLeuw Subway Plan, 1925

Early plans for LA's subway system featured extensive coverage throughout the city -- a far cry from the limited routes of today. In the end, it was money and politics that dictated what was eventually built.

Picture: Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive


Lloyd Wright Civic centre Plan, 1925

Picture: Eric Lloyd Wright


OMA LACMA proposal, 2001

The LA County Museum of Art considered this ambitious proposal with a huge canopy roof. Ultimately, the board voted for a more conservative proposal.

Picture: OMA


Pereira and Luckman, LAX original Plan, 1952

An original plan for LAX had a glass dome covering the entire airport. Apparently, there was also talk of building it on an island off of Santa Monica.

Picture: LAWA Flight Path Learning Center


Santa Monica Offshore Freeway, 1965

LA's heavy traffic forced planners to consider radical measures like this off-shore highway in Santa Monica. It was scrapped -- to the delight of beach-goers.

Picture: City of Santa Monica


William H. Evans, Tower Of Civilisation, 1939

This 400m tower built with magnesium was proposed for the 1939 World's Fair.

Picture: Huntington LIbrary


Never Built: Los Angeles will be on view from July 13 - September 29. [via Untapped Cities]