Give a city a historical monument and sooner or later it'll become their symbol — their calling card if you will.
Take a trip to Paris and you've got the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe or the Pantheon as examples of iconic installations that aren't going anywhere any time soon.
But take a step back and look at the grand scale of things, many of the world's most famous landmarks are relatively new (most are from the late eighteenth and nineteenth century) and could have looked very different.
Architizer, an online community for lovers of architecture, has collected a series of blueprints for famous landmarks in Europe, the U.S. and Australia that never made it past the draft stages. Now, keep in mind that winning the rights to design the next Taj Mahal would have been the equivalent of winning the lottery for an architecture firm at the time, so big and bold ideas were very much the goal.
How else could you explain a pitch to add an elephant-fountain on top of the Arc de Triomphe? And when the big and bold don't work, you can always borrow inspiration — like how the British wanted their own Eiffel Tower or how the Lincoln Memorial in Washington nearly became a mini Egyptian pyramid.
Rejected Blueprints For Historical Landmarks (And Their Final Versions)