We all love those ‘what-could-have-been’ features that compile pics of projects, preferably outlandish, that never got built.
The Guardian has a whole series of them.
Here’s the one from Los Angles, with a few examples:
International Marketland – 1959 – WL Couverly
WL Couverly’s lavish drawings of the Las Vegas-like ‘Marketland’, in what was the hinterlands of Orange County, turned out to be the promotional materials for an elaborate scheme by a shady developer, Charles Camarata. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Pyramid of Cheops, the Parthenon, Babylonian towers, a Jewish temple, a Moorish mosque, a geodesic dome … nothing was missing – except money. Camarata never paid for the land and soon landed in bankruptcy court, his scheme a shambles.
Santa Monica offshore freeway – 1965 – John Drescher and Moffat and Nichol
Perhaps no infrastructure in Los Angeles has ever been as ambitious, or destructive, as the Santa Monica offshore freeway; a testament to the city’s mid-century car fever and its appetite to reinvent the future. Hovering over the Santa Monica bay, the $600m raised causeway, lifted over a 30,000 ft-long chain of man-made islands, would connect the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica to the Pacific Coast highway in Malibu. Stymied by budget shortages and citizen anger, governor Pat Brown vetoed the project in September 1965.
Trump Tower – 1989 – Johnson Fain
In LA, Trump bragged he was going to spend a billion dollars on what he claimed would become the world’s tallest building. His architect Bill Fain delivered a gilded 125-storey office tower etched in a diamond-patterned exoskeleton. It would have dwarfed everything in its shadow – looking over one of the city’s poorest immigrant communities. David Martin also devised a skyscraper: ‘When I told Ivana [Trump] the basis of the idea was to put two diamonds together, she lit up,’ Martin said. ‘I think they were divorced a week later.’