See 5 Rejected Designs For the World's Most Famous Monuments

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By Jenny Xie
Can you guess what national treasure would have been replaced with this ziggurat?

Famous landmarks around the globe have become so familiar to us that we can't imagine them being any different—which is why the folks at GoCompare have done the legwork for us, illustrating their favorite rejected designs for five instantly recognizable structures.

Keep scrolling to see how things might have turned out, and the story behind each design.

Arc De Triomphe, Paris

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Forty-five years before the Arc De Triomphe was built, 18th-century architect Charles Ribart had an elaborate vision: a three-story elephant with a spiral staircase in its underbelly, and a trunk that would double as a fountain to irrigate the nearby gardens.

Click here to see the rejected design.

Sydney Opera House, Sydney

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See 5 Rejected Designs For the World's Most Famous Monuments - Photo 4 of 10 -

The conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Goossens, had a hand in the iconic Sydney Opera House, organizing an international design competition in 1955. The winning entry, so emblazoned in our imaginations today, was submitted by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon, but Goossens had his own ideas—the alternate version above is from a sketch of his.

Click here to see the rejected design.

Tower Bridge, London

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See 5 Rejected Designs For the World's Most Famous Monuments - Photo 6 of 10 -

In the 1800s, as London's East End grew more commercially viable, it became clear that a new bridge was needed across the Thames—but one that didn't block the approach of tall-masted ships. In the end, Sir Horace Jones's design was chosen, but an alternate design by F.J. Palmer proposes movable platforms at either end that allows traffic to flow even while boats are crossing.

Click here to see the rejected design.

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.

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See 5 Rejected Designs For the World's Most Famous Monuments - Photo 8 of 10 -

Henry Bacon's Lincoln Memorial is a revered American symbol, but another contender was John Russell Pope, who designed other historic buildings such as the National Archives and the Jefferson Memorial. A great admirer of other cultures, Pope drew from diverse inspirations, as evidenced by his graphite sketches for a Mayan temple, an Egyptian pyramid, and the ziggurat above.

Click here to see the rejected design.

Tribune Tower, Chicago

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See 5 Rejected Designs For the World's Most Famous Monuments - Photo 10 of 10 -

In response to a 1922 competition held by the Chicago Tribune​ calling for "the most beautiful office building in the world," 260 architects from 23 countries submitted proposals—and the designs were indeed worldly. While New York architects John Howells and Raymond Hood won, leaving a Gothic imprint on the Windy City, an alternative might have been this expressionist pyramid by German architect Bruno Taut.

Click here to see the rejected design.

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