5. Tribune Tower, Chicago
In 1922, the Chicago Tribune launched a competition to design their new headquarters, apparently in search of “the most beautiful office building in the world.” The submissions from 260 architects hailing from 23 countries offered stunning and diverse examples of architectural design of that time. New York architects John Howells and Raymond Hood drew on French traditions to design the Gothic tower that is famous today, yet the structure could have been markedly different.
A close runner-up was designed by the German architect Bruno Taut and resembled the expressionist pyramid above. To see more of the potential designs, explore the collections of The Skyscraper Museum.
To see more architectural plans that never made it off the paper, check out these designs for New York City that would have been amazing to see. If you love architecture, design, and urban planning, take a look at this exhibit of aerial photos of cities or learn more about NYC’s citywide celebration of design.