We are so grateful for all of your support in helping us reach our $35,000 goal! With your help, the Never Built New York exhibition will be on view from September 17, 2017 to February 18, 2018. We cannot thank you enough!
$50K STRETCH GOAL
Now we are thrilled to announce a stretch goal of $50,000 to help us realize a few particularly ambitious aspects of our exhibition as envisioned by Studio Christian Wassmann. If we reach our stretch goal, we plan to build an inflatable bouncy castle modeled after the never built Westinghouse Pavilion for the '64 World's Fair designed by the legendary Eliot Noyes.
With the additional funding, we can also realize our incredible plan to build a glowing LED-powered "sun" that will illuminate the Panorama of the City of New York. And we will be able to give you the ultimate 3D experience of seeing Never Built New York through animations by Shimahara Illustration, one of the nation’s most accomplished architectural renderers.
Help Never Built New York fulfill its greatest potential! Make this ambitious exhibition a reality!
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
The Queens Museum invites you to step into an alternate Gotham where the boldest, most daring, and most far-reaching urban designs are realized.
Curated by Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin, and designed by Christian Wassmann, Never Built New York—opening September 2017—presents 200 years of visionary architectural and urban designs that never came to be, all brought to life for the first time with original drawings, renderings, newly commissioned models, and 3D visualizations.
We invite you to be part of this monumental exhibition by helping us reach our goal of $35,000. Funding will support the installation of a gallery dedicated to stunning, rarely seen models, sketches, drawings, and more than 70 models to be installed on the Museum’s renowned Panorama of the City of New York. These miniature models are currently being purpose-built by students in Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. Select models will be sent to contributors who donate to our campaign. While these projects never came to be, you can own a model all to yourself!
Join us and together, let’s discover a New York that was never built...until now.
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
By showcasing visionary yet un-built architectural and urban planning projects, Never Built New York explores the backstory behind how and why New York City came to look the way it does, expanding our understanding of the city we know and love. The contents of this exhibition—culled from public and private archives—will also spotlight some of the most visionary concepts for New York City, giving visitors an unprecedented look at the design process, the rich depth of ingenious schemes, and the power of innovative ideas to propel the City forward into an uncharted future.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
What lessons can we learn from forgotten or neglected ideas? Through Never Built New York, the Queens Museum will not only exhibit many daring designs that were never realized, but also encourage discourse around how some of the most pressing issues of our time—ecological sustainability, population displacement, and economic inequity—are inextricably linked to our built environment. With the support of the Kickstarter community, we will demonstrate how the architectural insights of the past can help us plan for a stronger future.
NEVER BUILT NEW YORK HIGHLIGHTS
It is hard to imagine a glass dome over midtown Manhattan, but R. Buckminster Fuller conceived just that: a two-mile-diameter dome over mid-Manhattan that spanned the width of the island and was three times the height of the Empire State Building. Why? The purpose of the temperature-controlled aluminum and glass dome was to provide Midtowners with a perfect climate year-round!
Robert Young, the newly elected chairman of the New York Central Railroad chose I.M. Pei for the redevelopment of Grand Central. I.M. Pei’s Hyperboloid was proposed to be a 1,497-foot-tall office tower and transit hub. The 108-story, $100 million edifice, spanning a nine-acre site, would have been the world’s tallest and most costly structure. But after Young’s passing, the project fizzled.
Dr. Rufus Henry Gilbert proposed a railway powered by pneumatic air that would carry commuters in tubes 24 feet above the streets, a project that ground to a halt due to the 1873 financial crisis. The proposal's Gothic arches and Corinthian columns made for a stylish design to adorn New York City, however the Sixth Avenue Elevated Line eventually occupied the space on which they were meant to stand.
Before Robert Moses foresaw a new Dodger Stadium or a World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, he imagined a much larger prize for his highway-laced park: the United Nations. The conceptual plan for the site included a domed assembly hall, three low-rise office buildings, and 51 sunken pylons representing the founding nations of the U.N. Around these buildings and symbols, there was also to be a long reflecting pool, a low-lying rectangular entrance court and terrace, and a central lagoon.
“Causal, inspired living, minus the usual big-city clamor.” Frank Lloyd Wright’s Key Project for Ellis Island was imagined as a completely self-contained city of the future. This futuristic, car-free utopia would shelter 7,500 residents beneath air-conditioned domes housing theaters, hospitals, churches, schools, a library, and a sports arena, all linked by moving sidewalks. It would look like “a jewel suspended over the water and surrounded by it, free of congestion and noise.” Wright’s Key Project was rejected and Ellis Island was declared a national monument in 1965.
Carry Never Built New York with you wherever you go with this Kickstarter exclusive digital wallpaper for your phone, tablet, or computer! Plus your name on our website's thank you wall.
Receive a very special Never Built New York GIF for you to post, text, and tweet to your heart's delight! All you have to do is decide how to pronounce "gif." Plus your name on our website's thank you wall.
Show off your support with a set of three Never Built New York pin-back buttons. Plus your name on our website's thank you wall.
We will mail you a limited edition unframed exhibition print (11x17in.) for your collection. Plus your name on our website's thank you wall.
Snag this limited edition tote designed by Studio Christian Wassmann!
You will receive an invitation to an exclusive preview hour of the exhibition at the Queens Museum before it opens to the public in September 2017. Plus your name on our website's thank you wall.
As part of the Queens Museum's Adopt-A-Building program, we will send you a digital "lease agreement" for a Never Built site that will be installed on the Panorama of the City of New York during the exhibition. Your virtual fixed tenancy will last from September 2017 to February 2018, but you can print and frame the "lease" for posterity! We will also acknowledge you on our Adopt-A-Building website. Plus your name on our website's thank you wall.
For the print lover: We will send you an autographed copy of Never Built New York by co-authors and curators Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell with a foreword by Daniel Libeskind and published by Metropolis Books. Plus the exhibition print, and your name on our website's thank you wall.
Put on some white gloves and enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the historic Worlds Fairs and the Panorama with our in-house expert, archivist, registrar, and curator, Louise Weinberg. Louise will reveal little-known artifacts and souvenirs drawn from the Museum's collection–as well as some juicy anecdotes of proposals that were never built! If you can't join us in person, there will be a live-streaming option made available to you. Plus your name on our website's thank you wall.
Limited edition prints of the blueprint of the Perisphere built for the '39 New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Accompanied by the Trylon, the Perisphere was a monumental modernistic structure designed by architects Wallace Harrison and J. Andre Fouilhoux and kept with the Fair's theme, "World of Tomorrow." Razed after the Fair, the materials of both structures were used in World War II armaments. Today, the Unisphere now sits in the Persiphere's original location. The Queens Museum is reproducing limited edition prints (18x24in.) from the original blueprints, which are part of our collection. Plus your name on our website's thank you wall.
You and up to 5 of your guests will be given a private tour of the exhibition at the Queens Museum, as well as a Never Built New York souvenir. Plus your name on our website's thank you wall.
Ranging from 1–20 inches in height, select 3D-printed models, which will be exhibited in Never Built New York, are available to contributors to own. These models reflect years of research, planning, and design by not only master architects, but by the project's curators and exhibition designers as well. While the original architectural concepts never came to be, you can have a very special, one of a kind model all to yourself! Your name on our web site's thank you wall or acknowledgement in our exhibition credit line in all print, online and in gallery materials.
You and one guest are invited to the Queens Museum for the opening day of the exhibition, where we will introduce you to the curators, take you on a tour of the key highlights of the Museum, and give you your own signed copy of the book! Then, join us for a private exhibition opening dinner celebration with artists, curators, and other special friends of the Museum. You will also be acknowledged in our exhibition credit line on our website.
Get ready to take off your shoes! After receiving proper training, we will take you for a tour ON the Panorama for an up-close view of the Never Built New York installation. And don't forget to say "Cheese!"—no trip to New York City, even in miniature form, is complete without a souvenir photograph. We also invite you to come to the exhibition and meet our Executive Director, Laura Raicovich. You will also be acknowledged in our exhibition credit line in all print, online, and in-gallery materials.
Treat up to 15 future urban dreamers to a day of model making with a Queens Museum Educator and special guest Christian Wassmann at the Queens Museum...(pizza included!) DYK? Queens Museum's education programs are nationally renowned! We recommend this workshop for children 5-12 years old. You will also be acknowledged in our exhibition credit line in all print, online and in-gallery materials.
You and a guest are invited to an intimate dinner party with world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind. Libeskind is an international figure in architecture and urban design. As Principal Design Architect for Studio Libeskind, Mr. Libeskind speaks widely on the art of architecture in universities and professional summits. The Studio has completed buildings that range from museums and concert halls to convention centers, university buildings, hotels, shopping centers, and residential towers. His architecture and ideas have been the subject of countless articles and exhibitions, influencing the field of architecture and the development of cities and culture. You will also be acknowledged in our exhibition credit line in all print, online, and in-gallery materials.
HOW DID THIS PROJECT COME ABOUT?
In 2013, co-curators Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell, installed Never Built Los Angeles, an exhibition at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles, and published a book with the same title. This hugely successful project caught the eye of the Queens Museum, an arts institution whose socially engaged and community-based programming includes urbanism, urban planning, and architecture.
ABOUT THE QUEENS MUSEUM
We are a public museum situated within Flushing Meadows Corona Park in New York City. Since our founding in 1972, the Museum has been a home for the production and presentation of great art, intimately connected to its community and to the history of its site. At the core of the Queens Museum’s diverse initiatives are artist and community-led projects, some of the most radical and engaged museum education and public programs in the country, and groundbreaking exhibitions.
ABOUT THE PANORAMA
The Panorama of the City of New York is the jewel in the crown of the collection of the Queens Museum and a locus of memory for visitors from all over the globe. Commissioned by urban mastermind and World’s Fair President Robert Moses for the 1964 Fair, it served as a celebration of the City’s municipal infrastructure. The Panorama was built by a team of more than 100 people working for the great architectural model makers Raymond Lester & Associates over the course of three years. Today, it continues to wow hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, including 30,000 New York City school children, and inspires new interventions and installations by artists and curators.
Queens Museum and Panorama photos by Max Touhey
Never Built New York offers a look into an alternate reality for New York. With the City’s iconic skyline known all over the world, the possibility of New York being anything other than what it is today is endlessly fascinating. We are thrilled to use Kickstarter to engage with architecture buffs, lovers of New York City, and dreamers across the globe to bring this treasure trove of designs, plans, and schemes to life.
ABOUT OUR COLLABORATORS
Sam Lubell is a Staff Writer at Wired and a Contributing Editor at The Architect’s Newspaper. He has written seven books about architecture for Monacelli Press, Rizzoli, Metropolis Books, and Phaidon. He also writes for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Architect, Architectural Record, Architectural Review, Wallpaper*, Contract, and other publications. He co-curated the A+D Architecture and Design Museum exhibitions Never Built Los Angeles (2013) and Shelter: Rethinking How We Live in Los Angeles (2015).
Never Built New York co-curator Greg Goldin was the architecture critic at Los Angeles Magazine from 1999 to 2011. In 2011, he was awarded a Getty Institute Research Grant, which led to his exhibition Windshield Perspective at Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles (2013), a study of vernacular L.A. architecture. He co-curated and co-authored Never Built Los Angeles in summer 2013, and co-authored Never Built New York in 2016. Goldin was a contributing curator to the Getty Museum’s No Further West (2014), an exhibition about the making of Los Angeles’ Union Station. His writing has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Architectural Record, The Architect’s Newspaper, and Zocalo, among many others.
Christian Wassmann is an architectural designer and the exhibition designer of Never Built New York. Studio Christian Wassmann develops designs influenced by art, geometry, and the cosmos. Projects range from buildings, interiors, site-specific installations, exhibitions, furniture, and lamps. The studio has designed projects such as East Village Radio, Lisson Gallery New York, and the Sun Path House in Miami Beach. Wassmann’s career began as an architectural draftsman in Switzerland at age 15 and since 1997 he has collaborated with like-minded artists and architects. In 2010, Wassmann received the Swiss Art Award in architecture, and in 2012 the studio won the AIA New York New Practice Award.
This project has been selected for inclusion on Art Basel's curated page on Kickstarter. Check out out their curated page to learn about other great cultural projects.
Video by Jay Buim; Queens Museum photo by Scott Rudd; Buckminster Fuller, Dome over Manhattan, Stanford University Special Collections; William Zeckendorf, Rooftop Airport, Life Magazine; Eric Gugler, Obelisk, Library of Congress, Architecture, Design & Engineering Drawings; I.M. Pei, Hyperboloid, Pei Cobb Freed; Rodman Wanamaker, National American Indian Memorial, Library of Congress Architecture, Design & Engineering Drawings; Matthew Nowicki, Columbus Circle Shopping Center, Cornell University Special Collections; Exhibition sketches courtesy Studio Christian Wassmann; Wallace K. Harrison, X-City, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library; Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Museum; Frank Lloyd Wright, Key Project for Ellis Island, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library; Bertrand Goldberg, ABC Headquarters, Art Institute of Chicago Ryerson & Burnham Archives; Coney Island Globe; Rufus Gilbert, Pneumatic Railway, New York Public Library
Risks and challenges
As with any project that involves creative collaboration, elements of "Never Built New York" may need to shift and evolve. The potential for this exhibition is as high as a skyscraper! If we don’t reach our goal, our highly skilled curatorial team will have to reassess the exhibition’s elaborate production and design. Having mounted critically-acclaimed exhibitions, including “Hey! Ho! Let's Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk”, “Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art”, and “13 Most Wanted Men: Andy Warhol and the 1964 World’s Fair”, the Queens Museum is well-equipped to face potential hurdles and will keep our community of supporters informed no matter what. There are many moving parts, but we are up for the challenge, and are confident that your help will make it happen!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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