3. The Twin Towers

Photo by James and Karla Murray

The Twin Towers tied with the Singer Building with 7% of the votes. Of course, these buildings fall into a different category than the first two, as they were lost due to the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Designed by Minoru Yamasaki as lead architect and Emery, Roth & Sons as associate architects, the Twin Towers were also the tallest buildings in the world when they opened in April 1973. They were not particularly beloved when they were standing, with heavy criticism coming even before construction because it required the destruction of the Radio Row neighborhood. Aesthetically, architecture critics, urban planners, and even the public also criticized it.

But the circumstances surrounding their collapse gave the Twin Towers a radically different position in urban culture. One of our readers captured it well, writing they would bring back “WTC [World Trade Center] with all the people. ☹️” No matter what you felt about the buildings aesthetically, the tragedy has placed the buildings in the realm of the hallowed for New Yorkers. Furthermore, with the proliferation of blue glass throughout New York City since 9/11 (particularly at density in developments like World Trade Center and Hudson Yards), we think people are yearning for the level of texture that was provided on the Twin Towers.