Progress in our society, culture, economy, technology and specifically in this case, our built environment – architecture, is an unstoppable force in modern civilisation. However, that does not stop us bemoaning or even being sentimental for buildings that no longer exist through decisions to demolish them to make way for new developments. Especially so in our past before awareness and support for architectural preservation and protection began to take hold. Awareness for preservation cannot stop disasters though, in the case of two of the buildings (Crystal Palace and Cliff House) – fire ravaged them eventually.
For these lost buildings, we lament their aesthetic qualities, the engineering prowess in the construction, the interaction we may have had with them, how they defined an area or their importance historically in representing a certain style or movement of the time. Look at this gallery of some of the more iconic and famous buildings that no longer exist and let us know, if you could have saved one of them from demolition or disaster, which would it have been?
Pennsylvania Station, High Angle View, New York City, USA, circa 1910. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG Track Level and Concourse, Pennsylvania Station, New York City, USA, circa 1910. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG Main Waiting Room, Pennsylvania Station, New York City, New York, USA, Unidentified Artist, 1911. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG Passengers walking through Hallway, Pennsylvania Station, New York City, New York, USA, Unidentified Artist, 1911. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG Japan, Honshu, Tokyo, Nakagin Capsule building in the Ginza area. Photo: Eye Ubiquitous/UIG New York, New York: October 6, 1937. Thousands of fans watched the New York Yankees defeat the New York Giants in the first game of the 1937 World Series at Yankee Stadium. Photo: Underwood Archives/UIG Aerial view of Yankee Stadium during the second game of the World Series, New York, NY, 10/6/1949. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, USA. Photo: Hoberman/UIG Engraving of the Crystal Palace by George Baxter (1804-1867) an English artist and printer. Dated 19th Century. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations or The Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace Exhibition, 1851, London, England, digital improved reproduction of a woodprint from the year 1890. Photo: Bildagentur-online/IUG Exterior view of Crystal Palace and grounds; Negretti & Zambra (British, active 1850 – 1899); negative 1855; print about 1862; Albumen silver print. Photo: Sepia Times/UIG Illustration of Queen Victoria opening the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace. Dated 1851. Photo: Photo12/UIG Singer Building, New York. Photo: Buyenlarge/UIG The Cliff House is a restaurant perched on the headlands on the cliffs just north of Ocean Beach on the western side of San Francisco, California. It overlooks the site of the former Sutro Baths and a room-sized camera obscura and is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, operated by the National Park Service. Photo: Buyenlarge/UIG Cliff House, San Francisco, California, USA, Photogravure, Denison News Co., 1903. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG Cliff House Fire, San Francisco, California, USA, Historic American Buildings Survey, September 7, 1907. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG Saltair pavilion, salt lake, Utah, 1910 postcard. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG The Sutro Baths, a large, privately owned swimming pool complex near Seal Rock in San Francisco, California, built in the late 19th century, 1910. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG Sutro Baths, Golden Gate Pk. San Francisco. Webster & Albee, 1890s, Gelatin silver print. Photo: Sepia Times/UIG Hippodrome Theater, New York City, USA, Postcard, circa 1910. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG WEMBLEY STADIUM, Middlesex, London. Empire Day celebrations in 1924, part of Empire Week (24th-31st May 1924). Massed military marching bands entertained a packed house between 3 and 8.30pm. Photographed on 25th May 1924. Aerofilms Collection. Photo by: Historic England Archive/Arcaid/UIG WEMBLEY STADIUM, Middlesex, London. The 1926 FA Cup Final in progress between Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City. Bolton won 1-0 in a match attended by 91,447. Photographed on 26th April 1926. Aerofilms Collection. Photo by: Historic England Archive/Arcaid/UIG
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