America's Biggest Cities, Back When They Were Tiny Villages

Everything had to start somewhere — and the biggest cities in the United States are no exception. New York City, Chicago, Houston and other huge metropolises were once beautiful, charming villages. Check out the earliest known maps and images of the quaint little towns that became massive conurbations. » 12/24/14 3:00pm Yesterday 3:00pm

The Wonderful Geometry Of Budapest's Spiral Staircases

There's just something magical and mysterious about a staircase that goes around and around, letting you glimpse all the levels above or below. Whether they're perfectly round or other shapes, spiral staircases are beautiful. And Budapest is full of Modernist architecture that includes some stairways to wonder. Here… » 12/08/14 3:00pm 12/08/14 3:00pm

What Happens When A Japanese Architect Designs A Balkan City?

Fifty years ago, Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, was hit by a huge earthquake that flattened the city. Two years later, Japanese architect Kenzo Tange won a competition to design the new city center. And his influence on the city's retrofuturistic look is still apparent decades later.http://io9.com/brutalist-buil... » 9/05/14 3:00pm 9/05/14 3:00pm

The Mysterious Molecular Structures Found in City Layouts

Did you know that, from the air, the arrangement and structure of Boston's buildings, and the positioning of those buildings relative to one another, looks a lot like the molecular structure of an "amorphous liquid"? Seattle and L.A. do, too. Chicago, with its rigid grid system, apparently looks like glass. » 7/25/14 4:30pm 7/25/14 4:30pm

Scenes From The World's Northernmost Big City—A Polluted Hell On Earth

Located in Siberia, Norilsk is the world's northernmost city with a population of more than 100,000, and it's not just one of the coldest cities of the world—it's also one of the filthiest. Nickel ore smelting has transformed the landscape into one of the ten most polluted places on Earth. » 6/24/14 3:00pm 6/24/14 3:00pm

Here Are Some Of The Strangest and Most Artistic Rooftops In The World

Lots of cutting-edge buildings look best when viewed from the ground level — but some of the most astonishing buildings really have to be seen from above. These buildings have hidden gems on the roof: gardens, paintings, another buildings, colorful tiles, sculptures and some amazing things. Here are the most creative… » 4/25/14 4:00pm 4/25/14 4:00pm

The Most Dangerous Modern Ruins for Thrillseekers and Urban Explorers

You see the hauntingly beautiful pictures of the fallen grandeur of abandoned buildings, and you think, "I want to see those for myself." But watch out. Some of the world's most fascinating modern ruins are also the most hazardous. Here are some abandoned sites that you could risk life and limb to visit. » 1/31/14 3:00pm 1/31/14 3:00pm