Imagine never having to sit in hours of traffic heading to JFK or enduring all the local stops on the 7 line trying to get to LaGuardia? Your dreams almost came true in 1946 with the proposed 990-acre Manhattan Airport, which would have “stretched 144 blocks from 24th to 71st Streets and 9th Ave to the Hudson River at 200 feet above street level,” according to Untapped.
The idea of real-estate mogul William Zeckendorf, who owned the Chrysler Building and Astor Hotel, the airport would have cost a whopping $3 billion, a staggering sum in the 1940s, which was planned to be paid off in 55 years from rental income.
In addition to its traditional airport functions, the project would have included restaurants, office space, waiting rooms, and piers for ships to anchor. […]