Screenshots from the Museum of the Phantom City application for iPhone.
The virtual map guides users around Manhattan to sites where projects of sublime scale — much more form than function — were planned but never built. A.G. Sulberger of the New York Times spoke to Irene Cheng and Brett Snyder about their brainchild. Cheng points out that although New York is “the city that never was but could have been, sort of an alternate future,” these types of visionary proposals are not always destined for the back burner. To cite a few current examples: the Empire State Building, Central Park (“an immense swath of artificial nature in the heart of the city”) and, most recently, the High Line (“the transformation of a hulking piece of urban detritus into a magnetic public space”).
The interactive website launches with a citywide scavenger hunt this Saturday, October 3. Meet at the base of the aerial tram station that goes to Roosevelt Island at 1 p.m., iPhone in hand.