Cracked had an article about insane early designs.
Besides Walt Disney's idea for a future community for all of us with a theme park at the center, which I swear was a Sim City of mine, bizarre Golden Gate Bridge, and a show of what the 19th century thought of nature with Rushmore.
Then there was what could have been with the Space Needle.
After seriously considering the balloon shape again, it was decided having a compromise shape would be best, and that they should nix the idea for cable cars to travel up to it in on account of that idea being expensive, insane and probably physically impossible. They went with the idea of mixing the narrow stem support of the balloon idea with the saucer-shaped top submitted by a somewhat more conventional architect, John Graham. It was chosen, just after the foundation was poured, as the final design:
The Space Needle, if it hadn't been for a competing architect trying to get a compromise idea, could have nearly become the giant balloon looming like the eye of Sauron over Seattle.
I can see the Space Needle from my window.
As I typed that I turned my head and looked at it.
Or catch it looking like it's on fire at New Years.
The rest of the Cracked Article