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PghUSA

List your city's never-builts

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Oh what Detroit could've been....

Here are just some of Detroit's unbuilt projects.

Look at the Book Tower towards the left. It would've been 81 stories, but the Depression killed the project :(. It would've been the world's tallest building upon its completion.

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The Ren Cen & the area that will soon become River East

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Western edge of downtown

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Cobo Center

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Fisher Building. The building there today is only one of the 3 sections that were originally supposed to be built. The middle section was supposed to have been nearly as tall as the ESB. Unfortunately the Depression killed this project as well.

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Midtown Detroit

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Book Tower

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Center City Building

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The Unbuilt CBD

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Key:

2. Shelby Place, 1988. Rossetti Associates. Floated by developer John Madden, 23-story luxury hotel straddling Shelby bet. Congress and Larned.

4. Americanada Center, late 80's. Rossetti Associates. A hotel tower blended with twin office towers with a common lobby & retail level at ground floor.

9. Federal Courthouse, late 70's. Rossetti Assoc.

10. Lafayette Bldg Renovation, 1985. Harley, Ellington, Pierce, Yee & Associates. Would have involved an entirely new skin, complete with a glass atrium.

11. City Center Tower, 1989. Minoru Yamasaki & Assoc. Proposed by Troy developers Kirco Realty & Development for Kennedy Square.

16. Wayne County Courthouse, 1978. William Kessler & Assoc. A feasibility study done for the county.

18. Two Detroit Center, 1989. John Burgee Architects.

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Here's some more:

The Unbuilt Riverfront

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Key

2. Civic Center Plan, 1924. Eliel Saarinen. Was to include a domed memorial hall, a soaring tower, and an exposition hall and convention center. Voters went for it in a big way, but the depression hit before much could be done.

4. Comerica HQ, 1990, Cesar Pelli. Was to be built on the site of Ford Auditorium.

Unbuilt Portions of the Ren Cen, 1970

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Allan, looks like more was unbuilt in Detroit then built lol.

I have always wondered about Motown, it has the largest metro population between the east coast and Chicago and yet cities like Cleveland and Pittsburgh have taller bldgs. and seemingly more bldgs. over 500 feet.

One last question for you those drawings are FANTASTIC, i am looking for some like that for the Pittsburgh never builts (though most of ours were between 10-20 floors and more development complexes rather then just a tower or two, nothing massive like Detroit or Cleveland).

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Haha....yeah, sometimes it does seem like more was never built than built. Of course some of these unbuilt projects do date back to the 1920s.

Detroit has bever really built many tall buildings. For the downtown of a major city, downtown is actually quite small. The major skyscraper boom here happened in the 1920s, and the buildings back then just weren't built as tall. After the depression, more people started moving to the suburbs. The 60s through the 90s produced some towers, but not many tall ones.

Today there just isn't demand for tall towers downtown. Downtown collapsed in the late 1980s, and is just now begining its revival. The vacancy rate downtown is somewhere around 15%. Some buildings, however, are only about 15% occupied. Once those buildings fill up, more towers will be built. Right now though, it's important to save the buildings we have. Detroit's historic architecture is its best asset.

As for finding infomation about Pittsburgh's never builts, I don't know what to tell you. The information here came from the Detroit Free Press magazine many years ago. Maybe someone has put something like that together for Pittsburgh. I don't know. It would be interesting to see the unbuilt projects of Pittsburgh though...I'm sure they have their fair share of unbuilts as well.

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very nice drawings what I like most about them is that it is a complete one-stop-shop chronicle.

For Pittsburgh there are a few "complexes" with residential, arts, hotels, some office one on the northshore by the stadiums in the 70s a few on the immediate east side of downtown, as well as a few smaller towers downtown that didn't make it past the blue prints, there has never been any never built development in the city that has been over 500 feet though (that could be good or bad either we are batting 1000 on the big projects or we aren't shooting for the stars and willing to dream really big--even if it never does get built).

An interesting read for history and urban planning buffs for the steel city is:

http://digital.library.pitt.edu/chronology/

its search feature i use the most (that was I can pull every "development" "skyscraper" "police action" "election" etc. off it or just read it week by week, kinda like the city's own non-fiction novel :P

Great pics though, I have always liked modeling a city and for that type of artistic detail great find!

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Gran Torre de LIMA, Peru..... it had been the biggest project for Peru that unfortunately was never built.............At 50 stories (im not sure) and 200 meters high, it would had become Peru's tallest building................

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very nice drawings what I like most about them is that it is a complete one-stop-shop chronicle.

For Pittsburgh there are a few "complexes" with residential, arts, hotels, some office one on the northshore by the stadiums in the 70s a few on the immediate east side of downtown, as well as a few smaller towers downtown that didn't make it past the blue prints, there has never been any never built development in the city that has been over 500 feet though (that could be good or bad either we are batting 1000 on the big projects or we aren't shooting for the stars and willing to dream really big--even if it never does get built).

An interesting read for history and urban planning buffs for the steel city is:

http://digital.library.pitt.edu/chronology/

its search feature i use the most (that was I can pull every "development" "skyscraper" "police action" "election" etc. off it or just read it week by week, kinda like the city's own non-fiction novel :P

Great pics though, I have always liked modeling a city and for that type of artistic detail great find!

Well, Fifth Avenue Place was originally supposed to be 60 stories, but was reduced to 31 to preserve the Golden Triangle's aesthetics. So though it wasn't a never-built, it was a severe reduction.

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I don't know about all of Minneapolis' unbuilt, but I do know that US Bank Building (225 South Sixth) was supposed to be over 1,000 feet tall (shortened to 779).

Wells Fargo (775) was supposed to be around 950, as was the Dain Rausher Plaza (somewhere around 570) and Target Plaza was supposed to be around a 100 feet taller.

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www.skyscrapers.com has every cities unbuilts (almost) but it is the most comprehensive listing ANYWHERE and they are 99.9999% complete on most things.

As far as your comment on 5th avenue place, yes it was scaled back from about 60 floors to 30 (originally it was planned as the Hillman bldg. after the developer) but it was scaled back in floors only, the spire does climb higher then One Oxford Center--I believe Pittsburgh's 4th or 5th tallest. 5th Avenue is 1 foot higher then Oxford actually :rolleyes:

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