It's always fun to dip into the history books and see how people throughout the 20th century envisioned the world of tomorrow, whether focused on the slanted walls of Central Park, a Manhattan dome, or pneumatic tubes. A Redditor posted one such rendering of Battery Park City, which was made in 1969 and envisioned what it would look like by the year 2000. And it really does look like a giant pair of batteries!
Andy Blair, who has his own copy of the drawing, wrote about the rendering:
When Battery Park City was just a muddy, mucky landfill, this was a rendering of how it would look in the distant future of the year 2000. (no flying cars, though). New York. 1969. One of the documents my dad brought home from work at the Port Authority, it depicts a Jetsons-like “futurama” Battery Park City from the year 2000. The view looks south from the North Cove down to the Harbor, Staten Island, Jersey City, Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge.
According to the official Battery Park City website, the drawing was commissioned by then-Mayor John Lindsay, and was in essence Battery Park City's first official master plan. This particular rendering was a collaboration between the mayor's preferred architects, the firm of Conklin & Rossant, Governor Rockefeller's team, and Philip Johnson (who was referred to as "a sort of architectural marriage broker").
It is probably the most elaborate urban plan ever proposed on so official a level, and it was translated into voluminous zoning regulations and adopted by the city. It was essentially a seven-story mall, containing urban functions and amenities - shops, restaurants, schools, parks, rapid transit, utilities, public and recreational facilities. This service spine ran the length of Battery Park City as a partly glassed-in, partly open "lifeline," to which all the buildings were plugged in.
The plan was apparently well-received (Ada Louise Huxtable wrote in the New York Times around that time, "Is this any way to plan a city? You bet it is"), but the 1973 recession proved too insurmountable for investors. The plan was scuttled and Battery Park City twisted in the wind until 1979, when the Battery Park City Authority was given authority over the City, and they enacted a more modest new plan that was "a product of the hard-nosed, practical realism at the end of the 1970s."