Nuclear power plants? Landing pads for spaceships? Board game pieces?
Actually, they’re apartment buildings—and if visionary designer (some would say futuristic crackpot) Buckminster Fuller had his way, they may actually have been built in Harlem.
Fuller drew up these plans in 1964: His idea was to build 15 100-story structures spanning the entire width of Upper Manhattan, with each tower capable of housing 45,000 people.
But it wasn’t as crazy as Fuller’s 1960 plan, which was to cover Manhattan in a two-mile dome.
The point was to help control the weather and air pollution while keeping energy costs down.
Neither plan, of course, made it past fantasy stage.