Even for those who have called New York City home for their entire lives, there are infinite perspectives through which to see and understand the legendary metropolis. There are the sculptures hiding just above you; the beloved diorama at the Queens Museum, showing the city in miniature; and then the myriad buildings that were dreamt up for the city, but never built.
Those unrealized structures are the subject of Never Built New York, a book written by architecture critic Greg Goldin and journalist Sam Lubell, as well as the title of an exhibition the pair curated, which opens at the Queens Museum this September. Both book and exhibition detail hundreds of designs that never came to be, from some of the earliest planned arrangements for the city’s grid to the grandest glittering towers proposed for the World Trade Center site.
Some projects were foiled by their architects’ wily ambition, while others came tantalizingly close to creation, only to be struck down by politics. Here, we’ve selected five of our favorite buildings from Never Built New York.