Some of the buildings that tower high over city skylines are actually modern ruins in the making, their vast interiors abandoned or never completed. These tall buildings may be impressive on the outside, but their insides go unused.

The 38-story (476-ft or 145-m) Book Tower in Downtown Detroit, Michigan, designed by Louis Kamper, completed in 1926. A taller Book Tower with 81 stories was to be built at the opposite end of the Book Building, but the plan was abandoned because of the Great Depression started in 1929. The building is entirely abandoned since 2009, but most of the tenants moved out in the 1990s.

(via Albert Duce and Larry Miller)

The 17-story (271-ft or 83-m) Buffalo Central Terminal, Buffalo, designed by Fellheimer & Wagner Architects, built between 1927 and 1929. It was used until October 1979.

(via Dave Pape, Freaktography, Sean Marshall and Tom Bastin)

The 365-ft (111-m) high Queen of Memphis, or the Sterick Building in Memphis, Tennessee, designed by Wyatt C.Hedrick & Co., completed in 1930, empty since the mid-1980s.

(via Chris Wieland and Sean Davis)

The 531-ft (162-m) Plaza Tower (or Crescent City Residences), New Orleans, Louisiana, built between 1964 and 1969, designed by Leonard R. Spangenberg Jr. & Associates. It was used as an office building until the early 2000s. In 2001 it turned out that a lack of maintenance allowed toxic mold to thrive and asbestos exposure became really high.

There was a plan to convert the whole building into luxurious apartments with a fitness center, indoor pool, retail center and spa, but these plans never met with success. The building was renovated between 2006 and 2008 from $120 million but it's still empty.

(via holga_new_orleans, Sean Marshall and Wally Gobetz)

The 36-story (393-ft or 120-m) Abraham Lincoln Tower (Torre Abraham Lincoln, or Tower H) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, designed by Oscar Niemeyer. Construction started in 1970 as a three-year project, but halted a few times until 1984, when it permanently stopped.

(via Architectural Metabolism)

The 24-story (275-ft or 84-m) Piraeus Tower in Piraeus, Greece, designed by Ioannis Vikelas. Construction started in 1972, but never finished. It is used to display billboards.

(via magro_kr and Manos K.)

The 275-ft (84-m) high Tall House, a residential building in Pécs, Hungary, built between 1974 and 1976, evacuated in 1989 because of some serious static engineering issues, and it's empty since then.

(via David Eccher, CMB and Dániel Csörföly)

The 302-ft (92-m) tall NOT Tower (also known as the Szkieletor or Skeletor, the arch-villain from He-Man), originally intended to become an office of the Main Technical Organization in Kraków, Poland. Its construction began in 1975, but stopped six years after. Now it is used to display billboards.

(via Astrorek, Maciej Janiec and Konrad Krajewski)

The 105-story Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. Construction began in 1987, but it's interior is still unfinished.

The construction halted in 1992 during the North Korean economic crisis caused by the fall of the Soviet Union. The Egyptian telecommunication company Erascom Group continued the work in 2008 after it stood there without any windows for almost two decades. Here are some interior shots from September 2012.

(via Nicor, David Guttenfelder/AP and Forgemind ArchiMedia)

The 604-ft (184 m) tall, 49-story Sathorn Unique (also known as the Ghost Tower), with 659 residential units and 54 retails, in Bangkok, Thailand, never completed, abandoned since the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997.

(via David, Ian and Albert Freeman)