It's fun to look back at how people envisioned New York City in "the future," now that we're living said future. Just like that plan to drain the East River never happened, neither did depthscrapers or two-level streets. The latest rendering to pop up online (we DO have the internet here in the future) is from 1900, and originally ran in Joseph Pulitzer's New York World newspaper. The Skyscraper Museum writes:

At the turn of the twentieth century, one of the World's most popular illustrators, Louis Biedermann, speculated on the future New York in 1999 in a lavish two-page spread that pictured Manhattan solidly packed with skyscrapers, including behemoth towers at least a hundred-stories tall, sporting landing platforms of airships.

At a time when there were no controls on high-rise development, Biedermann's illustration exaggerated present trends and technologies and reflected both the fascination and fears of unconstrained growth.

While we don't quite have the spaceship type crafts Biedermann included in his illustration, his vision doesn't look to far off from this photo of the Hindenburg over Manhattan, in 1936. It also didn't look that far off from the Manhattan skyline in 1900. [via Ephemeral NY]