Thanks to the city’s bureaucracy, financial downturns, as well as the sheer ridiculousness of some of these ideas, most never seem to get past the sketch stage.
But it’s fun to see what could have been—like this 130-story telescope-looking structure, one of 11 proposals received by the city in 1985 to redevelop the site of the Coliseum at Columbus Circle.
Popular Science‘s very cool PopSci blog has a great writeup on it, based on their original 1985 article about the tower.
Of course, the Coliseum did get the boot, replaced by the less rocketship-like Time Warner Center in 2003.
This was the original design of the Chrystie-Forsyth Parkway, a four-lane sunken drive between Chrystie and Forsyth Streets from Houston Street to the Manhattan Bridge.
Bridges built over the parkway would accommodate traffic. Skyscrapers and high-rises would replace tenements.
Dreamed up in 1931, Mayor Jimmy Walker disregarded it and opened Sara Roosevelt Park here instead.
Tags: Chrystie-Forsyth Parkway, Columbus Circle street, Futuristic New York City, Lower East Side Street, New York City of the future, New York Coliseum, New York in 1930, New York in 1985, New York skyscrapers, Sara D. Roosevelt Park, skyscrapers never built in New York City