Have you ever tried to imagine New York City without its signature skyline? Pretty impossible, right? For centuries the city's stunning architecture—from the Chrysler to the Empire State—have captured the imagination of visitors, residents, and, of course, designers, many of whom have no doubt dreamed of making their own contribution to that famed horizon. A new exhibition called "Past Futures, Present, Futures," which runs at the Storefront for Art and Architecture until November 24, presents many of these architects' fantasies, hopes, and delusions, unraveling the stories behind 101 unrealized proposals for the Big Apple dating from its formation to today.
Inspired by this concept, we’ve put together a list of our own favorite NYC architectural proposals. Our top 10 focuses on more recent schemes from the past decade—though we did include one bonus project, Gaudi's Hotel New York, circa 1908, which was just too fantastic not to mention!
South Street Seaport / Pier 17
Designed by SHoP
Status: Unveiled in 2008, SHoP's plan has undergone various changes. It's currently slated to be finished by 2015.
Image via SHoP Architects
Tower Verre (MoMA Tower)
Designed by Jean Nouvel
Status: Introduced in 2007, this ambitious project seemed dead in the water by 2009. Last year, however, plans were revived; no word on if and when a groundbreaking will take place.
Image via ArchiTakes
Townhouse in the Sky
Designed by Santiago Calatrava
Status: Initially proposed in 2005, plans for this tower comprising 10 luxury townhouses were canceled by 2008 due to the deteriorating real estate market.
Image via ArkitecTRUE
Residential Tower on Five Franklin Place
Designed by UNStudio
Status: Construction for this 20-story residential tower began in 2008, but was halted in 2010 due to economic woes. A new architect stepped in with a much more subdued design; a completion date is unknown.
Image via Archpartners
56 Leonard Street
Designed by Herzog & de Meuron
Status: After sitting untouched for more than three years, construction will reportedly resume this month, with completion projected for spring 2016.
Image via Dailyicon
Tower above Parke-Bernet Galleries
Designed by Foster & Partners
Status: Proposed as a 30-story tower on top of the 1949 building in a historic district on the Upper East Side, the initial design was whittled down to a five-story rooftop addition. Construction never began.
Image via Wired
Designed by Rem Koolhaas
Status: Proposed in 2005, this plan was almost immediately killed by the neighborhood's notoriously conservative Upper East Side community board. Instead, the museum is building an entirely new home, by Renzo Piano, in the Meatpacking District.
Image via Designbuild-Network
Moynihan Station, New York
Designed by SOM
Status: After more than a decade of plans and false starts, Phase 1 was slated to get under way this fall.
Learn more about this project in our Architizer database.
Designed by SHoP Architects
Status: While the Barclays Center just opened, that was just a small portion of this mega-project. Groundbreaking for the first residential tower is planned for December, but other components of the project have yet to be finalized.
Image via New York Times
23 East 22nd Street
Designed by OMA
Status: OMA won a competition to design this condo tower in 2008, but the deal went bust.
Image via Life Without Buildings
Hotel New York
Designed by Antoni Gaudi
Status: Gaudi's fantastical, sci-fi hotel never made it beyond some concept drawings the architect did in 1908.
Image via Zonacine