Nothing screams the hubris of urban life like a giant building. And while for some cities a skyscraper is just another building, plenty peg their self-worth on mammoth projects, designed to serve as iconic credentials of progress. However of those planned, only a handful ever result in a shovel in the ground — and even then their completion remains uncertain, held hostage by economic and technical realities. Chicago and Dubai, while already boasting some of the world’s tallest buildings, suffer such disappointment on a regular basis. In the grim midst of the Great Recession, not even the best laid plans of city or architect are safe. After the jump, check out some prime examples of the Tower of Babel’s modern heirs.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed a mile-high building in 1956. Slated to stem Chicago’s urban sprawl, everyone, including Wright, knew that the tower would never and could never be built. Nevertheless, the design did inspire the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest real life skyscraper in the world today.