Unbuilt: Towers For Columbia's South Field (1970)

These twin monsters, similar in style to the science tower at Barnard College across the street, never got built. They would have had a huge underground concourse connecting them beneath South Field. They serve as a warning of how close our historic spaces came to getting trashed by bad modern architecture in the 50's, 60's and 70's. The architect was none other than I.M. Pei, who used to live in International House and most of whose buildings, like the Javits convention center downtown, are actually quite nice. Reading the documents associated with this design, one gets the distinct sense that even then, people had a sense of how outrageous this would have been and didn't quite take the plan seriously.

Columbia Towers Proposal, 1970

Other Historic Pictures | Contemporary Pictures | Home | Next