2. Coney Island Globe

Samuel Friede, Coney Island Globe Tower, 1906. Courtesy Queens Museum (left)

In 1906, inventor Samuel Friede proposed the towering Coney Island Globe. Standing at 750 feet tall, the Globe would feature 11 levels with several amenities such as a roller-skating rink, circus, and dance hall. The Friede Globe Tower Company contracted 4,000 tons of Pittsburgh steel to begin construction in 1907, but in January 1908, the Globe’s construction was permanently halted.

The company could not pay its rent and was subsequently discharged by its landowner, George Tilyou. The company’s treasurer was later embroiled in accusations of embezzling the project’s funds, which he claimed were divided among himself, engineers, and inspectors, leaving nothing for Tilyou except the task of removing the Globe’s concrete foundations.