china, ghost town, duplitecture, financial district, manhattan, new york city, nyc, recession
Screengrab from NBC News

China is well established as the world capital of duplitecture, with everything from its own rendition of the Eiffel Tower to a mock Venice. But their mock Wall Street financial district, constructed at a cost of $50 billion carries its own rather unique ironies. Since the 2009 economic recession, the project—which also includes a mock Rockefeller Center and its own Hudson River—has been deeply in debt, and sits unfinished and abandoned.

china, ghost town, duplitecture, financial district, manhattan, new york city, nyc, recession
Screengrab from NBC News

Work began on the mock-Manhattan Financial District is located in Yujiapu, near Tianjin, some 120 miles from Beijing, in 2008 with a $50 billion budget. 47 office buildings and hotels were constructed to mimic NYC icons such as the Rockerfeller Center and Twin Towers. But in 2009 China hit an economic crisis, and construction on the project had largely stopped by 2010.

Related: VIDEO: Original Copies author Bianca Bosker on architectural mimicry in China

NBC News explains that Yujiapu was scheduled for completion in 2019,” offering 164 million square feet of office space over an area larger than Manhattan’s financial district in a bid to stimulate development of vast residential districts nearby.” But now the area of little more than a surreal, taped off ghost town.

And that’s not Yujiapu’s only problem; adding to the eeriness of the abandoned would-be metropolis, the area is prone to flooding from storm surges and heavy rain. Quartz explains the development is “built on coastal salt flats just a few inches above sea level.. as a local resident told the Times in 2012, after nasty weather… “you had to roll up your pants and take off your shoes to walk across the street.”

Via Archinect