Airport on the Hudson River
Rendering by iProspect

Many architects have yearned to leave a lasting mark on New York City. While the lucky few are able to realize their dream, an untold number never get that chance. Some of their plans never saw reality due to red tape or funding issues, while others remained on the drawing board because the city was not ready for their grandiosity. Presented below are 10 ideas for New York City that never left the drawing board.

10. The Coney Island Globe Tower

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

Coney Island has always been known for its outrageous architecture and general atmosphere. Before it became beloved to New Yorkers and Brooklynites alike, back in the 1870s, the small peninsula was being developed as a “pleasure island” of sorts. And so it was not so giant a leap, what entrepreneur/architect Samuel Friede proposed to build in 1906: the Coney Island Globe Tower, a literal world of entertainment, sitting full and proud as a setting sun on the little peninsula’s horizon. Had it ever been built, the Globe Tower would have been the largest steel structure ever erected and the second tallest man-made structure in the world besides the Eiffel Tower.

The 700-foot-high globe would have 11 floors, which were to be filled with restaurants, a vaudeville theater, a roller skating rink, a bowling alley, slot machines, an Aerial Hippodrome, four large circus rings, a ballroom, an observatory, and a weather observation station.