One of the most incredible vanishing acts ever perpetrated in the Times Square area is the disappearance of Copperfield's Magic Underground. Intended to transform the southeast corner of 49th and Broadway, the project was under construction, then, presto, it wasn't.
"The concept combined dining with David Copperfield's great illusions," says architect David Rockwell, who created interior and exterior designs with a kind of Blade Runner aesthetic in an industrial warehouse-like space. "The idea was to merge theatre and magic into one fabulous experience."
Rockwell's designs featured a 60'-tall statue of a winged man flanked by two massive torchieres with open flames above the entryway. Inside, a steel ceiling grid backed with great washes of color topped a collection of faux Gotham-style artifacts, including the arm and torch of the Statue of Liberty. "We put a lot of love and time into this project," says Rockwell. "It was an interesting learning experience." The winged statue and torchieres were actually built in case anybody is interested in making them magically re-appear someplace else.