Old Skyscraper Renderings and Construction

One Liberty Place sketches

Unfinished design compared to the finished design


Bank of the Southwest Tower, revealed in 1982 and was cancelled in 1983 due to an oil bust and rejection from the FAA . Helmut Jahn is the architect and it was set to be built in Houston

I’ll post more pictures of this soon


Here’s KPF’s extremely postmodern proposal for the Bank of the Southwest Tower, which lost to Helmut Jahn in the design competition.


1st book

2nd book


Very cool! What are the names of the books?

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Here are a bunch of unbuilt postmodern skyscrapers from the 80s and 90s:

Rockefeller Center West by KPF, 823 ft, NYC 1988

Canary Wharf Office Tower by KPF, London 1986

Ameritrust Center by KPF, Cleveland, 1,198 ft, 1988

Block 265 supertall by KPF, 1,231 ft, Houston 1982

Travelstead Tower at 383 Madison Avenue, 1,080 ft, NYC 1985

New Orleans office tower by Cesar Pelli, 1983

Indiana Tower, Indianapolis, by Cesar Pelli 1980. 750 ft limestone observation tower with a spiraling interior ramp to the top.

Society Center by Cesar Pelli, Hartford CT, 696 ft, late 1980s

Houston skyscrapers by Kevin Roche, 1981

Denver skyscrapers by Kevin Roche, 1981

300 East Pratt Street by Kevin Roche, Baltimore 1988, 32 stories

Republic Bank Building by Michael Graves, San Antonio 1982

Hotel and Entertainment complex at 43rd street and 8th Avenue, NYC, by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, 1994

Jacksonville office towers by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, 1985

David Childs/SOM original proposal for Time Warner Center, NYC 1989

Dearborn Center, Chicago, by Adrian Smith/SOM, 1989. 1,135 ft

180 Allyn Street, Hartford CT, by SOM (1990) 801 ft

Cutter Financial Center, Hartford CT, by Russell Gibson von Dohlen Architects, 878 ft 1988

Columbus Center, NYC, by Moshe Safdie 1985. 70 stories ~900 ft

Times Square redevelopment, 1984. Buildings and master plan by Philip Johnson/John Burgee, Big Apple sculpture by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown

Block 37 Chicago, mall and towers, by Helmut Jahn 1983

60 Wall Street proposal by Helmut Jahn, NYC 1983

Broadway and 52nd Street tower by Helmut Jahn, NYC 1985

Fountain Square West by Helmut Jahn, Cincinnati 1985

South Ferry Plaza by Helmut Jahn, NYC 1985, over 1,000 ft


Helmut Jahn Architecture and Urbanism 1986 and Helmut Jahn by North Miller 1986, but the second book came in a red hardcover that was not advertised on Amazon

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Added my 3d model


wow those Hartford proposals would have seriously elevated the skyline versus others in the country. Today the Insurance Capital of the World isn’t all that impressive.


Yeah it would have been a very cool and dramatic skyline, since the three tallest cancelled skyscrapers each had interesting crowns/spires. Hartford and Houston were the cities whose skylines were most impacted by the late '80s-early '90s economic slowdown. If all the unbuilt Hartford proposals had been realized, Boston’s John Hancock Tower would be relegated to third tallest in New England.

I still think Hartford’s current skyline is pretty decent for a city its size, though. It’s not even in the top three largest cities in CT and it still has the most high rises.


Losing competition entries for the Humana Building, Louisville KY, by Jahn, Pelli, and Foster:

Helmut Jahn (this design was recycled for a skyscraper in Durban, South Africa)

Cesar Pelli

Norman Foster

Winning design by Michael Graves


The unbuilt Travelstead Tower.


Awesome work as always. Travelstead gives me real supervillain headquarters vibes.


Federal Reserve Bank of New York Tower, by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates, 1969. A 46 story, 715 foot skyscraper lifted on four massive 165 foot tall stilts or piloti. It would have been connected to the existing Renaissance style bank building with a sky bridge. Excavation for this tower began, but when space in a nearby building became available, the bank decided to move there instead of completing this building.

image image


I actually really like this. A modernized version would be great. Far better than some of the unorthodox stuff from that period

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Early version of 7WTC with black glass, exposed cladding and a single, covered bridge


Unsure of the date but most likely from the 60s; it looks identical to this black model you can see in the corner of this 1969 photo


383 Madison, from my new KPF book Kohn Pendersen Fox Architecture & Urbanism 1986-1992

The book also shows a top view of the original 880 foot design of Mellon Bank Center


I have that book too! It’s great.

Oh, what I would do to get into the complete KPF and SOM archives…

Here’s a cool old NYT article about KPF from 1986, when they were still a young up-and-coming firm.

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The New York Stock Exchange Tower.