The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Three NYC Buildings That Might Have Been

Not all architecture is considered classically beautiful. Here’s proof.

By Nathalie Nayman September 9, 2016
Khaleesi Tower. Photo courtesy of Mark Foster Gage Architects

It’s hard to admit, but when it comes to architecture, New York is not exactly the most cutting-edge experiment-friendly environment. Perhaps you would wish some Norman Foster masterpiece or a Frank Lloyd Wright icon. But we, in the Big Apple have no idea what kind of bullets we have dodged.

Well, if you think some of NYC’s buildings look weird, we wonder what you’d say if you saw some of the creative projects that haven’t made the cut (yet.) Here at Agorafy, we picked three architectural masterpieces that could have been a part of NYC reality. As you will see, things could have been even better/worse/uglier.

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Mark Foster Gage’s Khaleesi

Technically, nobody can guarantee that this phantasmagorical skyscraper, inspired by the Game of Thrones, will never ever be built—the plans for the 102-story building right below New York’s Central Park were released less than a year ago. But let’s be real here: unless Daenerys Targaryen herself drops by (making our current presidential choices a bit less dismal), and wins the election, New York will never see the Khaleesi Tower in stone and concrete. Which is a pity: we at Agorafy wouldn’t be opposed to having stone gargoyles overlooking the Midtown.

Photo courtesy of Mark Foster Gage Architects

Frank Gehry’s Atlantic Yards

In terms of building design, what can possibly be simpler—and, at the same time, less adventurous—than a stadium? That is, unless you hire someone like Frank Gehry—a starchitect who seems to be incapable of designing anything conventional. Just give him a basketball arena and see whatever genius (and weird) idea he comes up. So when Gehry was actually commissioned to design the Atlantic Yards—a 22-acre development with 17 buildings and a basketball arena—we thought New York was in for a treat, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, in 2009 Gehry was fired by the developer for thinking too big and too expensive, and all that is left to us is maestro’s project design.

Photo courtesy of

Vasily Klyukin’s Top Sexy Tower NYC

When businessman-turned-architect Vasily Klyukin released his plans for the Top Sexy Tower, a tall metallic structure that has a giant leg popping out of it, he said that, to him, it was obvious: This building belongs in New York City. “No, it doesn’t,” said NYC’s conservative public and subjected Klyukin to merciless mocking. What can we say? NYC really dodged a bullet with this one.

Vasily Klyukin’s Top Sexy Tower NYC
Preservation of Community Assets


Nathalie Nayman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nathalie Nayman

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nathalie Nayman

Nathalie is an international media trooper. After working as a journalist in Moscow, Nathalie participated in local politics and social movements in Cairo where she covered the protests and political upheaval of the Arab Spring. Nathalie is Agorafy's content manager. She produces and oversees unique and creative content for the Newsroom.

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