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A Tour of New York City's Fake Buildings

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Many cities are home to fake buildings, or facades. Here's a look at some of them in New York. Share on Facebook: https://goo.gl/nJDsDY Share on Twitter: https://goo.gl/F19A9L Subscribe: https://www.youtube.com/user/HowStuffWorks/about Visit our site: http://www.howstuffworks.com
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Text Comments (58)
HW (9 days ago)
These are not fake buildings they are just disguised to look like homes so they aren't eye sores and lower property values around them.
Dana Payne (2 months ago)
I can't stand this idiotic "repurposed" stupidity. Purpose is a fucking noun. The word is reused, you fucking illiterate hipster morons.
travis hurst (3 months ago)
Lol this is bull shit i bet u people live in them
abdullah abdulaziz (6 months ago)
What is the point of this I don't get ot
HowStuffWorks (6 months ago)
These are a bunch of buildings that look like they're meant for one thing, but really they're facades for civic infrastructure.
waltzguy14151 (6 months ago)
Seriously you can't spell "Manhattan"?
Gabriel Schroll (7 months ago)
Thanks for taking the time to make the video! Sure, these could be Googled, but someone making a video saves us from doing the work! You misspelled the word "Manhattan". *53 second mark*
jurgostuff (11 months ago)
0:53 Anyone else notice the "Manhatten" misspelling?
KatyKat 336 (8 months ago)
jurgostuff yes!!!!
kg062007 (11 months ago)
New York is ugly
2005 Gamers (11 months ago)
GTA 4 in real life
swirlcrop (1 year ago)
I´m a New Yorker and I never knew this. Good video.   :-)
Mario Stout (1 year ago)
Very cool!!!!#!!!
JenEsheFa Petrs (1 year ago)
all the fake buildings can't they build real ones and put alllllllll the homeless
Deliciousness (3 months ago)
Duck You (5 months ago)
Are you implying there are no homeless shelters in NYC and that there isn't a large effort to help the homeless? Because it sounds like that's what you're implying.
Jason M (1 year ago)
I was waiting for it to say that was a fake boat.
Bill Malik (1 year ago)
the music bed was amazing. who wrote and recorded the music.
Mike W (1 year ago)
They really aren't "fake" buildings, they just aren't apartments basically. Pointless video with no actual tour of what's going on inside them.
twotoobad (1 year ago)
I'm Sheep (1 year ago)
I never realized how poisonous the comment section on this channel could be. Also: mindblown. How much is spent on these buildings only for aesthetic appeal? It's so bizarre to think about.
Spinal Column (1 year ago)
I'm Sheep aesthetic appeal plays a big role in the surrounding property prices
bdf2718 (1 year ago)
How could you omit the most famous NY fake building of all? The Brooklyn Battery Tunnel Ventilation Building. Yeah, just about everyone has seen it, but how many know what it really is?
Samuel (1 year ago)
I never knew these actually existed, I think that's so cool!! Thanks for making this!! =D
steamfans (1 year ago)
The MenInBlack headquarters are located in the ventilation tower of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel in the movie, which connects Manhattan with Brooklyn
Ilia Penchev (1 year ago)
It would be interesting to see what is actually inside :)
Decembirth (1 year ago)
There really shouldn't be any homeless people if they can pull this off.
Humes McKenzie (1 month ago)
look everybody! homelessness is solved! all hail the age of Decembirth! (honestly though, if you think being homeless is simply caused by not having shelter, good luck interpreting nuance & cause/effect relationships in the real world)
James Nicoll (1 year ago)
How are these fake buildings? Are they made from cardboard?
Robin (1 year ago)
thats were all the illegals hide !!!
Guy Says (1 year ago)
I don't know. It just seems like a waste of time, money, and resources to build fake buildings just to hide things stuff if you ask me. They could have been building something useful like facilities that help people find jobs, a soup kitchen, housing for low income, or shelters for the homeless.
Nila's November (3 months ago)
They're probably hidden in there so people won't ruin them
Bmac 814 (6 months ago)
Guy Says don't you think the people building them are happy they have jobs, they could be poor people if they weren't built. They couldn't put soup kitchens and shit there, they are sub stations and whatnot behind the facade. They are essentially decoration, I'm sure you've spent money on decorations, on "useless stuff", if you've ever planted flowers or cut your grass or done landscaping, painted your house maybe, hung a picture or dressed up maybe that money would have been better off going towards the poor. Also these could have increased property values by not having exposed industrial appliances visible, that means property taxes go up and that means the community has more money to do charitable things with.
Guy Says (1 year ago)
+Rolando Rios I do think those things are useful. However, if you look at what the video says at 0:12, you'd see that those buildings are just made to hide those things. They are not the subway ventilation or electrical substations. the subway ventilation and electrical substations were built before these fake buildings were put up just to hide them. Those fake buildings don't really do much of anything.
Rolando Rios (1 year ago)
So you dont think subway ventilation or electrial substations are useful?? How do you think your hipotetical soup kitchens and shelters get electricity, public transportation, and phone service?
alex ingram (1 year ago)
Anernermus (1 year ago)
That's not a tour you fucking morons. Could've easily googled "outside of fake buildings" and seen the same thing.
ShinyDragonite1 (6 months ago)
HowStuffWorks LMAO
HowStuffWorks (1 year ago)
Joe Smith (1 year ago)
its how they come to and fro. matrix and inception are pretty accurate.
BariumCobaltNitrog3n (1 year ago)
How is it fake if it has real, functioning equipment inside it? All those buildings serve a purpose.
Rolando Rios (1 year ago)
I agree with the hollywood set example. Those are fake buildings because they were not made to function as what they appear, but as backdrop to a movie. Fake saloon, real set. Even if the set has a real working door, it's still a fake saloon. Your second example is where we disagree. Let's say someone in Bangladesh takes some plywood and cardboard and fashions himself a shelter for himself on the edge of a slum next to another thousand people in similar circumstances. He's a little artistic so he paints bricks on the plywood and some roman columns on either side of the door. Is it a real building? Absolutely! Its a real house. The fake bricks and columns don't change this. It has a roof and walls and is more or less permanent, and more importantly its appearance matches its function. If he instead paints it to look like a car, and puts some real tires, a front window and steering wheel, then it would be a *fake car*. The difference between the appearance, and the function of a building is what makes it fake. The first and 4th building on the video are made to look like houses. The windows are blacked out, and the door on the bronx building doesn't even have a door handle. It's all faked to look like house or office building. Like the hollywood set, it looks like something, but functions as something else. It doesn't matter if the door is real or if it has a roof. I understand that it's a real building, but it's a fake house. If a server farm is made to look like a huge apartment complex because for some reason they had to put it in the middle of a suburban area surrounded by houses and the zoning authority won't let them build a warehouse, then yes, it is a fake apartment complex. On the other hand if they tell them they can build the warehouse, but it has to look like a mid century warehouse to match the architecture of the surrounding houses, then yes, its just another warehouse. I realize that all this is very subjective. Im not trolling, just found this subject intersting.
BariumCobaltNitrog3n (1 year ago)
I think the Hollywood back lots are fake, nothing inside at all. But these buildings have real doors that people use and windows that let in light so people can work. The equipment has to be serviced and maintained. They didn't show the inside, so I'm not sure if it matches the facade. I think if the building was made of plywood and painted to look like brick and had painted-on windows and doors it would be fake, but changing what's inside it doesn't make it fake. It's like saying all server farms are in fake buildings if they look like other buildings in the area.
Rolando Rios (1 year ago)
Because the equipment doesn't need a building around it. They could just flatten a house and put it there. But since theses services have to be in the middle of where people live, they have to disguise them in order to avoid being an eye sore and bringing real state prices down. The facade mimics the architecture of the buildings around it and has nothing to do with the inside of the building. So in a very strict sense, the outside of the building is fake. Doors and windows probably dont serve any purpose except to blend in.
Dawud G Delves (1 year ago)
No these are all REAL buildings. They have structure. They have walls and a roof. They are FAKE dwellings. No one does, or can, reside there.
Avishek Chand (3 months ago)
Hey the rent is prolly the same tho.
Chris Dodges (1 year ago)
I knew that city was fake!
Grimm_ Ace (1 year ago)
It's not really fake if it's a real building is it?
yakyakyak69 (1 year ago)
These buildings are real. They simply are designed to help infrastructure esthetically blend in. Nothing "fake" about them.
Brian Pasternak (1 month ago)
"Fake building" - I imagined a facade with no structure behind it. These are real structures built to house equipment/infrastructure, not people.
Chanel Marley (1 year ago)
they just cover up buildings to keep the machines safe from damage like storms and stuff.
yakyakyak69 (1 year ago)
Rolando Rios - I think the word your looking for is FALSE, not fake.
Rolando Rios (1 year ago)
So you havent heard about fake dollar bills? or fake teeth? Maybe english is not your first language and you dont understand the meaning of the word. Fake doesn't mean "imaginary".
yakyakyak69 (1 year ago)
Rolando Rios - Is there a physical structure? Then it's REAL. Unless they are holograms or figments of your imagination brought on by some kind of mass Hallucination which of course would be fake. Do u take drugs?
Kirigiri Kyouko (1 year ago)
the second building you showed was literally a cement slab with some bricks lining it
Dana Payne (2 months ago)
You mean as opposed to figuratively a cement slab, you fucking hipster moron? I best you say "first ever" a lot too, you fucking idiot.
stephanie kawaii1616 (2 months ago)
Lmaoo true