This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "An Incredible Journey into the New York City that Never Was." Imagine the waters surrounding the Statue of Liberty were filled up with land. That you could walk right up to Lady Liberty herself, following a path from Manhattan’s Battery Park. Believe it or not, in 1911, this could have been. In Never Built New York, authors Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell (foreword by Daniel Libeskind) describe with irony, and sometimes nostalgia, the most significant architectural and planning projects of the last century, projects that would have drastically changed the city—but never did. The book organizes over one hundred projects in a geographic way, starting with citywide plans to projects located in Downtown, Midtown and Uptown Manhattan, Bronx and Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Some are well known, such as the long-lasting battle for the design of the United Nations headquarters or the tragic collapse of an ambitious master plan for Ground Zero. Others are unexpected and surprising—see Moshe Safdie’s Habitat New York residential project or radical as Koolhaas’ tower for 23 East 22nd Street. A few are pure flights of fancy. Most really could have been built; for reasons often financial and political in nature, however, they never saw the light of day.
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