The futuristic hotel never built in New York

Architect Antoni Gaudi designed fantastical, colorful, Art Nouveau-style buildings and churches in his native Spain in the late 19th century. 

There’s nothing like them here in New York. But if Gaudi had his way, there would be—a hotel, topped by a giant star, he intended to build on Church Street.


Plans were drawn up in 1908. At 1,250 feet, the proposed Hotel Attraction would have been the tallest building in the city.

It never went up, of course, and the sketches were mostly forgotten for decades after Gaudi’s death in 1926.

Now, a group of Spanish artists are reportedly entering Gaudi’s design in the World Trade Center memorial design competition.

The crazy thing is, ground zero is exactly where Gaudi had intended the Hotel Attraction to go up—102 years ago.

At right, Gaudi’s 1908 sketches for the hotel

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13 Responses to “The futuristic hotel never built in New York”

  1. joy Says:

    How. Cool. And sad that it never was built! It would totally have influenced the city skyline, then and in the future. Amazing.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I know. But hey, the WTC memorial people could choose it for the ground zero site. Well, actually, they probably won’t.

  3. Paul Says:

    It looks like a rocket ship. Interesting design for 1909. Unfortunately today it probably wouldn’t take off. Pun intended.

  4. Thomas Jefferson Says:

    This is actually a design I could get behind. I like the history and it’s look. Very unique. Certainly different than the garbage designs that have been put forth so far.

  5. haydn Says:

    it actually made a cameo in the season finale of ‘fringe’ in the alternate new york

  6. joy Says:

    So funny – my sister asked me if I Tweeted it because of the Fringe finale. I haven’t caught up on Fringe yet, so she thought I was psychic. 🙂

  7. petey Says:

    crikey it looks awful!

  8. chas1133 Says:

    you have to admit that for the period it was exceedingly ahead of its’ time….now it looks like george jetson memorabilia…I cant see this in the city now, but I love the irony of where it was planned and now re-submitted…

  9. Terry Says:

    Man, gaudy is right!

  10. WHAMMO! Says:

    A little to phallic…

  11. Jean Siegel Says:

    Much better design than the eventual dual monoliths that were there. Just my opinion.

  12. charles Says:

    You can see the similarities with the Sagrada Familia Church in Barcelona that he designed

  13. 13 stories of Art Nouveau beauty in Manhattan | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] for an Art Nouveau hotel around the corner on Church Street drawn up in 1908 by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi, […]

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