Demolished Architectural Wonders Of America

Here are some of the most impressive demolished architectural wonders of America

1. Cincinnati Library: replaced by a parking garage

demolished architectural wonders America

The most beautiful library ever built in the US, with towering cast-iron book alcoves. An institution since 1874, it was demolished in 1955 and the library moved to a new site with more space. Today, a parking garage stands in its place.

demolished architectural wonders America

2. The Chicago Federal Building (1905 – 1965)

demolished architectural wonders America

Demolished to make way for larger premises that more government departments could fit into: the modernist Kluczynski Federal Building. Chicago lost what was the largest dome in the US (larger even than the US Capitol), and a wonder of the Beaux-Arts era.

demolished architectural wonders America

3. Old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, NYC (1893 – 1929)

If you ever wondered what was demolished to make way for the Empire State Building, this is it. A German Renaissance design containing the world’s largest hotel — which also set the standard for luxury.

demolished architectural wonders America

4. The Singer Building (1908 – 1968)

Maybe the greatest of the early skyscrapers, and once the tallest building on Earth. When its antiquated floor plan was deemed too inefficient for modern use, it was razed — and replaced by something far less dignified…

demolished architectural wonders America

5. Garrick Theater, Chicago (1891 – 1961)

A wonderfully ornate theater inside what was a landmark of early modern architecture (by Louis Sullivan). Despite considerable protest, it was demolished for a parking garage.

demolished architectural wonders America

6. Old Penn Station, NYC (1910 – 1963)

Old Penn Station

New York’s majestic gateway might be the greatest train station ever built. After just 50 years, it was demolished to make way for Madison Square Garden, and the station pushed underground…

Old Penn Station

7. The “Mayan Revival” Fisher Theatre, Detroit (1928 – 1961)

This theater still stands (inside the Fisher Building in Detroit), but it was gutted in the 1960s so it could be “modernized”.

The “Mayan Revival” Fisher Theatre

8. Old Metropolitan Opera House, NYC (1883 – 1967)

When the Metropolitan Opera Association moved to a new venue, rather than risk competition from a new company buying the Old Met, they handed it to developers. It was demolished for bland commercial property to be built.

Old Metropolitan Opera House

9. Old Detroit Library (1877 – 1931)

Like the one in Cincinnati, it had a huge atrium (five-stories) with skylights, ornate iron railings and towering columns. Scaling the tall bookshelves was deemed an inefficient way to run a library in the modern world, so it was demolished.

Old Detroit Library

10. Festival Hall, St. Louis, (1904 – 1905)

A gem of classicism that became an icon of the World’s Fair held in St. Lous. It was built as a temporary structure (plaster and wood) to host large-scale musical pageants.

Festival Hall

11. Erie County Savings Bank, Buffalo (1893 – 1968)

A truly unique, Romanesque design that was the city’s most beloved building. It was demolished in an “urban renewal” project of the 1960s that saw a bland, modernist tower built instead.

Erie County Savings Bank

Credit: Culture Critic