Design

Reuters/Carlo Allegri

Take Heart, One World Trade Center: Critics Hated These Iconic Skyscrapers, Too

They came to accept the "genital worship" of Rem Koolhaas' China Central Television Headquarters. They may love you one day, too.

A Brief History of Highway Sound Walls: Best #Cityreads of the Week

A roundup of the best stories on cities and urbanism we've come across in the last seven days.

Urban Land Conservancy

Part Land Bank, Part Community-Focused Credit Line

Denver's Urban Land Conservancy aims to put transit-oriented development to work for the greater good.

Marble Fairbanks Architects with James Lima Planning + Development, Leah Meisterlin, and Special Project Office

5 Design Concepts for New York's Branch Library of the Future

From 24-hour, ATM-style vestibules to library cards that double as subway fares.

New York City Department of Records

Life Inside the Drunk, Rowdy World of New Amsterdam

A collection of newly digitized ordinances from the 17th-century settlement that would become New York City reveals a riotous city full of crime, trash, and “insolent practices with sad accidents of bodily injury.”

IGI-USA

What the World Doesn't Need Are Steampunk Luxury Condos

A new Manhattan development is geared towards rich, "creative" people who want all the glamor of the wretched 19th century, but also really nice hardwood floors.

Photos
Damon Davis

In Ferguson and St. Louis, an Artist's Quiet Outrage

Damon Davis has long created dynamic works that have helped his divided hometown of St. Louis communicate. In the wake of the Michael Brown case, he's been called to make art that is itself a form of protest.

Jeff J. Mitchell/Reuters

Is Memphis Making (Another) Massive Mistake With Its Pyramid?

A giant Bass Pro Shops outlet is set to move into the infamous landmark. But the city could be on the hook for millions if the deal falls apart.

Reuters

A Massive Arts Center Will Test the Legacy of the 2012 London Olympics

Two years after hosting the Olympics, London is putting down more cash to build an arts and education facility on the former site. Will the city's poorest residents benefit this time?

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Vintage Visualizations

The Modern Beauty of 19th-Century Data Visualizations

These high-quality poster reproductions from an 1870s statistical atlas are at once gorgeously designed and utterly antiquated.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Strange, Cool Job of Picking the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Meet the Rock's head gardener, responsible for finding NYC's most iconic holiday tree.

m01229/Flickr; Allison Smith

The Clone of My Hometown in China

Why the country is building its own version of the American West.

Quito Eterno

How Costumed Tours Helped Transform Quito

By stirring pride in Ecuador's history, the tour group Quito Eterno contributed to the revival of its capital city.

Guggenheim

Here Are the Top 6 Designs for the Guggenheim Helsinki, and They're All a Bad Idea

Finns are right to ask whether Helsinki needs the Guggenheim as much as the Guggenheim needs the harbor city.

Maps
Nick Owen/MSF

Open-Source Mapping the World's Most Vulnerable Regions Will Save Lives

Urgent humanitarian aid missions are slowed when cities are largely unmapped. Missing Maps aims to change that with the help of volunteer cartographers and local residents.

Maps
Fathom

You'd Never Know From These Beautiful Maps That U.S. Infrastructure Is Crumbling

These monochrome renderings depict only roads.

1Week1Project

A Sky-High Memorial to Qatar's Rising World-Cup Death Toll

Each building stone represents one deceased Nepalese migrant worker.

Wendell/Flickr

Why an Affluent Suburb Rallied Behind Affordable Housing

A church and an interfaith housing group got Edina, Minnesota, to back a new project for at-risk youth—although a few holdouts remain.

Photos
AP/Natacha Pisarenko

South America's First Subway Turns 101

Buenos Aires' oldest subways cars didn't quite make it to 100 years in service. State and city officials hope to give new life to the retired La Brugeoise cars soon.