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Explore — and Play On — Unbuilt Plans for New York City at Queens Exhibit

By Katie Honan | September 15, 2017 5:03pm | Updated on September 17, 2017 3:56pm
 "Never Built New York" utilizes the Panorama at the Queens Museum to show un-built plans for the city.
"Never Built New York"
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CORONA — ​A domed baseball stadium for the Brooklyn Dodgers. A vertical city over tenement buildings. A 120,000-person stadium at what is now the site of Citi Field.

These ideas were dreamed up, planned and designed for New York City, but never built — and are now being celebrated with an exhibit at the Queens Museum.

"Never Built New York" is based on the book of the same name from authors Greg Goldin and Sam Lubell, who published renderings and photos of some of the grandest plans in New York City history. 

The exhibit, which will have its grand opening Sunday, incorporates these plans with the museum's crown jewel, the Panorama, putting nearly 70 lit-up Plexiglass renderings of the never-built projects on the miniature replica of the five boroughs.

There's a miniature version of LOMEX, the expressway that master builder Robert Moses planned for Lower Manhattan, as well as Fifth-and-One-Half Avenue, a 100-foot wide road that was designed to reduce traffic in the early 1900s.

A dome around Midtown Manhattan was the dream of 20th century inventor Buckminster Fuller, while an airport along the Hudson River stretching from 30th to 70th streets was proposed by real estate developer William Zeckendorf.

The "bouncy house" version of the unbuilt Westinghouse Pavilion for the 1964-1965 World's Fair, designed by architect Eliot Noyes. Guests can jump around inside as part of the exhibit. (DNAinfo/Katie Honan)

The exhibit also features an inflatable "bouncy house" model of the never-built Westinghouse Pavilion, which architect Eliot Noyes envisioned for the 1964-1965 World's Fair.

It's displayed in the center of the museum, and guests encouraged to jump around inside it. The exhibit also features proposals for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, including glassy designs for the Queens Museum. (The museum's renovation, completed in 2013, looks similar to many of the plans.)

“The exhibition will take visitors beyond the limitations of reality, into an alternate history of New York," said Lubell, who co-curated the exhibit with Goldin.

“Visitors get a sense of how ephemeral built visions (and realities) can be, and are transported from the minute they enter the galleries."