5 Beloved Architectural Creations Lost to History

If you could bring one building back from the wrecking balls of the past, what would it be?

1 minute read

September 7, 2017, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Buffalo, New York

The Kensington Expressway runs over the path of the Olmsted-designed Humboldt Parkway in Buffalo. | AndreCarrotflower / Wikimedia Commons

Kevin D. Murphy, Carol Willis, Daniel Bluestone, Kerry Traynor, and Sally Levine—five architecture professors from around the country—share their feelings about the most regrettable losses of architectural history.

The introduction of the article explains the premise:

Unfortunately, all cannot be salvaged. Preservation efforts must be galvanized; they require mobilization, time and resources. We reached out to five architecture professors and posed the following question: What’s one American structure you wish had been saved?

Each professor provides more background on how their choice came to be destroyed, and what the loss means to architectural history. The choices are as follows:

  • The Mecca Flats on the South Side of Chicago (Selected by Daniel Bluestone)
  • The Original Waldorf Astoria, located on Fifth Avenue in New York City (Selected by Carol A. Willis)
  • The Rachel Raymond House, located in the Boston suburb of Belmont (Selected by Kevin D. Murphy)
  • The Humboldt Parkway, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted as part of the Park and Parkway System in Buffalo (Selected by Kerry Traynor)
  • The Chicago Stock Exchange (Selected by Sally Levine)

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