Twelve New York Nightmares


New York may have been a very different city if some poorly thought plans were ever implemented.  Flavorwire has a gallery showing twelve of these.  So we will rank them based on how dystopian the city would have been had these ideas become reality.

12.  Venice on the Bay.  This mini-Venice was stopped because planners thought that it would be even tackier than Coney Island.  Is that even possible?  Although it seems horrific, it is all the way out there in Jamaica Bay and you would never have to see it.

11.  Layered Roadways.  Stacks of highways would traverse the city.  Pedestrians would walk on other walkways also layered above the vehicular roadways.  Sounds like the Williamsburg Bridge.  Oh yeah, and planes would land on the sides of buildings.  No wonder the world went to war back then.  Everyone was insane.

10.  Nuclear Projects.  Housing projects shaped like the cooling towers of nuclear power plants.  The only way to get people in public housing to work so hard they either make it out of there or die trying.  Win win?  Note how the projects are placed in Harlem.  LOL?  Although bad, it is just aesthetically bad unlike some of the higher ranked "proposals."  They are just buildings shaped like cooling towers.

9.  New Jersey's East Coast.  Residents of Queens and Brooklyn would look down upon what used to be Manhattan and is now East Jersey.  The Jersey coast would be across the East River from the aforementioned boroughs.  Freedom fighters in Queens and Brooklyn would blow up the bridges and tunnels connecting them to this nightmarish land.

8.  Bryant Park Bomb Shelter.  In the future people would want the nice constant whirr of helicopters landing and taking off several feet above their heads.  This was the premise behind placing an autogyro landing pad/bomb shelter atop Bryant Park.  Ice skating would still be free.

7.  Roofy Airport.  You walk down the street as 20 stories above planes land and take-off.  Half the island's skyscrapers would have to be demolished.

6.  Dystopian Linkway.  A single structure would be built around the entire planet.  A superhighway that allows the traveler to go from any place on the planet to any other, granted you have the time.

5.  Dometown.  In the age of globally warmed 140°F temperatures, Dometown would have been the place to sit back and cool down.  Unfortunately no air travel would be possible.  But why would you want to be anyplace else?  Desperate lunatics would be seen trying to flee only to be shot down by well armed guards.  The Berlin Wall of the future.

4.  Robocity.  If being trapped inside a dome does not make you claustrophobic enough, how about in a robot city?  What were those planners on those days?  Your entire neighborhood would be inside a giant robot that moved around for who knows what reason?

3.  Underground Arcology.  This has everything people want: never seeing daylight, nuclear radiation, constant advertising in the sky, and breathing through tubes.  Where do I sign up?

2.  Crown Tower.  So horrific, it even made Robert Moses gag.

1.  Glass Nightmare.  The year: 2012.  The vision: glass stadia, buildings, and everythign else you can imagine.  Get us out of this unoriginal nightmare.  As always the scariest plans are the ones that came closest to fruition.

Image courtesy of Andrew Decker.



Profile photo of cardstandcardstand
January 9th, 2013  9:08 PM

Roofy Airport was this intentional?

Profile photo of PeanutPeanut
January 10th, 2013  8:40 AM

I kind of like the layered roadways but am curious how that would work. How would one move from one layer to the other?

Profile photo of The Livid LibrarianThe Livid Librarian
January 10th, 2013  9:38 AM

Crown Tower. Who are these people that like these things? This city is going to look so ugly in one hundred years if they keep demolishing beautiful buildings to put up another green glass box. I am afraid they are going to destroy the beauty of the NYPL’s Main Branch. They want to turn this into this!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/library19n-1-web.jpg

Profile photo of sarahbsarahb
January 10th, 2013  10:53 AM

I’m glad we lost the Olympics.

Profile photo of blybly
January 10th, 2013  1:56 PM

I know the building in the top picture. It is even uglier in its totality.