Our 14 Most Interesting Stories About Architecture and Cities In 2014

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We wrote hundreds upon hundreds of stories about the built world around us this year—ranging from the discovery of how Egypt really built its pyramids, to a tour of the building where NYC's poop goes. Odds are good you didn't see every last one, so take a look at the best of the year.

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Scientists Discovered the Egyptian Secret to Moving Huge Pyramid Stones

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An ancient engineering mystery, solved.


Why People Keep Trying to Erase the Hollywood Sign From Google Maps

You can see it from all over LA—but a complicated opera involving locals, environmentalists, Google, and the city is making it tougher to actually find it.


Where New York City's Poop Goes

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NYC's sewage infrastructure is both gross and magical, as Nick Stango found out this year first hand.


Building the Part of Facebook No One Ever Sees

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Where do all your idiotic Facebook photos from 2004 live? They live in this carefully-constructed, remarkably-engineered nowhere.


That Time Cleveland Released 1.5 Million Balloons and Chaos Ensued

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If you don't remember this happening, you probably weren't born yet. Because you'd remember. It was UTTER CHAOS.


Tracking Brooklyn's Rapid-Fire Gentrification With Google Street View

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You knew it was changing, but until Ashley Feinberg compared just a few years of Google Street View, you might not have realized quite how much.


One of America's Most Famous Architects Was a Nazi Propagandist

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Your lame college-era Philip Johnson phase was so much worse than you think.


How NYC Would Respond to an Actual Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Attack

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The experts weigh in on what would happen if the Stay Puft giant from Ghostbusters actually attacked.


This Superhero Train Keeps New York City's Subway Safe

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There's a vast network that keeps NYC's subways safe and running—we went aboard one of the trains on the front lines of that endless uphill battle.


Earthquake Early Warning Systems Save Lives. So Why Don't We Have One?

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A story about planning, technology, and the slow crush of a geological inevitability.


Inside the Secret Building That's Bringing Cell Service To NYC's Subway

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It's still possible to keep a building secret in Manhattan, but we got a tour anyways—Nick Stango managed to get inside the anonymous building where cell service is being pushed into subway stations.


Orion Is a Triumph. Let's Not Waste It

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NASA's been under fire for spending so much money on projects and infrastructure that's useless to it these days. One exception: Orion. Sarah Zhang explains why it's a crucial moment.


A Subterranean Stroll Through NYC's Newest Train Tunnel

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Earlier this year, we got to descend into one of the city's biggest infrastructure projects—these are the images we brought back.


Frank Gehry Says Architecture Today Is "Pure Shit"

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This year Frank Gehry—now 85—finally claims his rightful title as architecture's top crotchety old man. And that's a competitive category!

Lead image by Axel de Stampa, who GIF'd a number of great buildings this year.

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DISCUSSION

Scorpion101

What is that headline gif about?