Gizmodo has a selection of eight incredible buildings and public works that could have turned America into the perfect set for a futuristic movie that never was, from 1-kilometer high skyscrapers to cities-within-cities like Frank Lloyd Wright's titanic Los Angeles' Civic Center, a sci-fi mesopotamia set in 1925.
For every existent building in your city, there are a dozen that never came to be. Some plans were abandoned for good reasons (see: LA's 5,000-foot skyscraper), others were abandoned because of legal and financial quandaries. Either way, these forgotten drawings show us what we could've had.
We're currently in the grips of a collective bout of urban nostalgia: This summer, three different cities—Chicago, LA, and San Francisco—are staging exhibitions devoted to buildings that were never built. Each show is full of parallel universes—cities that could’ve been, had things been different. The United Nations’ headquarters overlooking San Francisco Bay. A copper skyscraper in Chicago’s Loop, designed by 58-year-old Frank Lloyd Wright.
It’s easy to speculate on why we’re suddenly so curious about cities that weren't. Major infrastructural changes are afoot in our real-life cities. In New York, Bloomberg is pushing to add acres of new land to Manhattan. In LA and San Francisco, Elon Musk is proposing a massively futuristic transit system. In every city, politicians and advocates are scrambling to push through public works projects dedicated to environmental sustainability.