What Could Have Been: 'Never Built: Los Angeles'

Art Scene

What Could Have Been: 'Never Built: Los Angeles'

Downtown Los Angeles would look a lot different if a proposal to build a 10-story “Steel Cloud” around the 101 Freeway had gone through.

Or imagine a star-shaped museum at the top of Mount Hollywood.

In Never Built: Los Angeles, the Architecture & Design Museum spotlights these and other projects that never advanced past the drawing board. Dozens of renderings and models of visionary works that would have changed the L.A. landscape are on display, begging the obvious question – “Why were they never built?”

“The stories surrounding these projects shed light on a reluctant city whose institutions and infrastructure have often undermined inventive, challenging urban schemes,” the museum says.

Check out this 1952 proposal for a single-terminal LAX under a glass dome.

© LAWA Flight Path Learning Center

As for the 1988 “Steel Cloud,” it’s safe to say that it would have been pretty cool, though somewhat stressful visually – Plans for the complex included parks, libraries, two aquariums, “cinemas with LED screens flashing messages to motorists and a ‘Musical Forest’ synthesizing the rushing sounds of cars,” NPR says.

"Steel Cloud" (Courtesy of Asymptote Architecture New York)

The museum atop Mount Hollywood would have had a revolving restaurant.

Fascinating stuff – What ambitious architectural projects have been proposed and/or denied in your city? Tweet us or tell us in the comments below.

© The Architecture & Design Museum

© Los Angeles County Metropolitan

Courtesy of the Architecture & Design Museum