Jamaica Bay Flushing Canal-NYC That Never Was

This visual is a fascinating find from @Discovering_NYC – a plan to create a canal from a new port in Jamaica Bay to Flushing Bay which had been in the works since at least 1910, when it was presented to the Barge Terminal Canal Commission at an estimated cost of $12 million. A bill for its construction failed to pass the New York State legislature in 1912 but in 1914 the state included the latest in its Annual Report of the State Engineer and Surveyor on the Canals of the State of New York showing a cost between $12.6 million and $21 million.


Mayor Gaynor Plan for New Avenue-NYC-5th Avenue-6th Avenue.-2

In May of 1910, the ill-fated New York City mayor, William Jay Gaynor, proposed a new avenue to be added to Manhattan’s street grid that would go between Fifth and Sixth Avenue between 8th Street and 59th Street. While this might seem like a wild idea today, several new avenues were added to the original grid plotted by the Commissioners of New York City, like Lexington Avenue, Madison Avenue, and several thoroughfares uptown, like St. Nicholas Avenue. As a New York Times article reported on May 29th, 1910, the Gaynor’s avenue would be the same width as Fifth Avenue, then at 100 feet.


“Memorial Arch Completed” (1936). Collection of Brian E. Hack

If the proposed Monument to Democracy, a peace memorial honoring the dead of the First World War, had been built in the Washington Heights section of New York City, it would have been a massive complex with more than 50 statues and an arch taller than the ones in Washington Square Park and Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.


atlantic-yards-barclay-brooklyn-frank-gehry-nyc-untapped-cities.57 PMFrank Gehry’s Atlantic Yards

Architectural critic Paul Goldberger’s new biography about Frank Gehry, Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry, addresses the architect’s trials and triumphs in New York City. The city represented, Golberger writes, “the unattainable, the mountain that he would try repeatedly to climb, only to find himself sliding back down.” Gehry broke this spell finally with the IAC Building on Manhattan’s west side and the residential skyscraper, New York by Gehry. But prior to these, the city seemed to always evade him, apart from the cafeteria he designed in the Condé Nast headquarters in Times Square.

Here are five projects Gehry designed for the city that were never realized:


“The Grand Washington Monument Procession.” Via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Image by James S. Baillie.

On Tuesday, October 19, 1847 thousands attended a ceremony in New York’s Hamilton Square (a lost public square on the Upper East Side) to celebrate the laying of the cornerstone for a 425-foot tall Washington Monument. However the monument was never constructed and the fate of the cornerstone remains uncertain.

On that morning, which was the anniversary of the British surrender to Gen. George Washington at Yorktown, a procession marched from City Hall in Lower Manhattan a distance of over four miles to Hamilton Square on the then rural Upper East Side.


1985_Before-Whitney-Storefront-of-Art-and-Architecture-Submission-NYC-That-Never-Was-3Before Whitney submission by Eric Fiss (New York, NY), 1985. “Whitney Goes Pop”

This past year, the Whitney Museum reopened in a new Renzo Piano-designed museum in the Meatpacking District, moving from its smaller space on the Upper East Side, the modernist building designed by Marcel Breuer and Hamilton P. Smith from 1963 to 1966. Space had been an issue from almost the beginning, with the Whitney opening outposts on Water Street, on Park Avenue, in Connecticut and other New York City office buildings over the decades.