In Pittsburgh, there were plenty of them around, relics from a bygone industrial era. The most popular, due to a revival at the Waterfront area in Homestead, were the 12 red brick smokestacks greeting you when crossing the Homestead Bridge. Considering the views offered in NYC, I guess I'll have to give it to Pittsburgh for having two of the most amazing off-the-bridge views in the region.
My last project at CMU to not get destroyed by the professors and critics was a museum for Alberto Giacometti. The entire museum was centered around five hollow vertical pipes borrowing the language of the smokestacks around the city. A lot of space devoted to just five pieces of sculpture. I had a hell of a time fitting the rest of the building's program into the remaining space.
NY will soon lose some famouse smokestacks. The smokestacks atop the old Pennsylvania Railroad Station in Long Island City are being torn down as I write this. All to make way for condos. The architect originally tried to save them by incorporating them into the design, but it never got past City Hall, so the developer and architect were 'forced' to take them down. Sad really, just another bland looking condo building to look forward to. For more interesting information about this building built in 1909, click here, there are also some great photos there as well as a short analysis that reminds me of the Design Economics class we had to suffer through.
If I had the money, I'd buy the decrepit factory building near Sam's place in Jersey City. It has a pretty sick looking smokestack or two. Really great looking place. It could have been the COOLEST looking pad ever. But... no cash on me to throw around like that.