07 August 2009

I Wish They Have Built It

Gothamist posted this item about the Coney Island Globe Tower that never was:

Today the Library of Congress posted a bunch of old New York Tribune covers in their Flickr pool, one displaying the ambitious tower, where the plans for it were announced in May 1906. Inside, investors were offered "a ground floor chance to share profits in the largest steel structure ever erected...the greatest amusement enterprise in the whole world...the best real estate venture." The Globe Tower would cost around $1,500,000 to erect, and the man behind it, Samuel Friede, was looking for the means to make it happen.

His vision included a 700-foot-tall sphere subdivided into eleven floors, and placed at a corner of the Steeplechase property on Surf Avenue. Inside would house everything from a garden, restaurants, a roller rink, bowling alley, a 4-ring circus, a music hall, the largest ballroom and theme park in the world, a hotel, an observatory, and obviously the United States Weather Observation Bureau and Wireless Telegraph Station. Below the globe one would find a combination parking garage, subway and railroad station, including a direct route out to sea incase a boat was your preferred mode of transportation.

This article explains the fate of Friede's dream, noting that in March of 1907, "George Tilyou, tired of the endless delays, threatened an injunction. A Brooklyn Supreme Court judge prevented it. None-the-less, by 1908 it became clear that the most impressive architectural project ever conceived was a fraud. Tilyou was left with the problem of removing thirty foundation piles on his property."

Tilyou have vision. Compare his ideas to those laid out these days by Joe Sitt and Mike Bloomberg.

No comments: