10 Visions of the Los Angeles That Could Have Been

Los Angeles isn't generally famous for its innovative urban design. But there have been many attempts to transform the city into a modern metropolis through visionary architecture and transportation projects. In their exhibition Never Built: Los Angeles, the Architecture and Design Museum is showing off the coolest of what LA could have become.


Frank Lloyd Wright Huntington Hartford Sports Club, 1947

10 Visions of the Los Angeles That Could Have Been

Photo: Courtesy Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation


B+U Downey Office Building, 2009

10 Visions of the Los Angeles That Could Have Been

Photo: Courtesy B+U Architects


Goodell Monorail, 1963

10 Visions of the Los Angeles That Could Have Been

This monorail system would have carried passengers between downtown and LAX.
Photo: Courtesy Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive


John Lautner Griffith Park Nature Center 1972

10 Visions of the Los Angeles That Could Have Been

Photo: Courtesy Getty Research Institute


KiribatiKelker & DeLeuw Subway Plan, 1925

10 Visions of the Los Angeles That Could Have Been

Early plans for LA's subway system featured extensive coverage throughout the city—a far cry from the limited routes of today. In the end, it was money and politics that dictated what was eventually built.
Photo: Courtesy Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Research Library and Archive


Lloyd Wright Civic Center Plan, 1925

10 Visions of the Los Angeles That Could Have Been

Photo: Courtesy Eric Lloyd Wright


OMA LACMA proposal, 2001

10 Visions of the Los Angeles That Could Have Been

The LA County Museum of Art considered this ambitious proposal with a huge canopy roof. Ultimately, the board voted for a more conservative proposal.
Photo: Courtesy OMA


Pereira and Luckman, LAX original Plan, 1952

10 Visions of the Los Angeles That Could Have Been

An original plan for LAX had a glass dome covering the entire airport. Apparently, there was also talk of building it on an island off of Santa Monica.
Photo: Courtesy LAWA Flight Path Learning Center


Santa Monica Offshore Freeway, 1965

10 Visions of the Los Angeles That Could Have Been

LA's heavy traffic forced planners to consider radical measures like this off-shore highway in Santa Monica. It was scrapped—to the delight of beach-goers.
Photo: courtesy City of Santa Monica


William H. Evans, Tower Of Civilization, 1939

10 Visions of the Los Angeles That Could Have Been

This 1300 ft tower built with magnesium was proposed for the 1939 World's Fair.
Photo: courtesy Huntington LIbrary


Never Built: Los Angeles will be on view from July 28 - September 29, 2013. [via Untapped Cities]