From Notre Dame to the Taj Mahal, many of the world's most iconic buildings seem so perennially full of tourists and so universally beloved as to run no risk of ever being sold and demolished.
But is this always the case? Stacker took a look at 20 buildings around the world that were designed by some of the most important architects of their day and played host to many significant personalities and historical events. And yet, each of these was nonetheless eventually demolished.
Significant wealth proved no bulwark against the potential for a wrecking ball to hit a building. The famous American industrialist family the Vanderbilts demolished multiple buildings themselves on the famous Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to make way for their own mansion in the late 19th century. But when the family finally sold the building to a developer several decades later, the developer wasted no time knocking the mansion into the ground just like the Vanderbilts had once done.
Historical status proved no sure indicator of a building's longevity, either. To wit, the Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood was once one of Los Angeles' most famous eateries and served as a famous meeting spot for the celebrities the city is so well known for. But despite the hordes that still clamored to catch a glimpse of their favorite movie stars inside the restaurant, it shuttered abruptly in 1980. Brown Derby's legions of fans hoped for a re-opening that never came.
Which isn't to say beloved buildings are laid to waste without a fight. From striking housewives in New York City to protests by famous architects, the fans of many famous buildings fight for years to save the structures from destruction. But as the ruins of the following 20 buildings show, protests, historic status, and superfans are no sure thing when it comes to the relentless tide of modernity and the appetite of real estate developers.
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