The Palazzo Venier dei Leoni looks like this:
But it was supposed to look like this:
This model can be seen at the Museo Correr. I had heard that the palace was never finished because the owners ran out of money, but the Peggy Guggenheim museum website has this to say:
“It is an unfinished palace. A model exists in the Museo Correr, Venice (1). Its magnificent classical façade would have matched that of Palazzo Corner, opposite, with the triple arch of the ground floor (which is the explanation of the ivy-covered pillars visible today) extended through both the piani nobili above. We do not know precisely why this Venier palace was left unfinished. Money may have run out, or some say that the powerful Corner family living opposite blocked the completion of a building that would have been grander than their own. Another explanation may rest with the unhappy fate of the next door Gothic palace which was demolished in the early 19th century: structural damage to this was blamed in part on the deep foundations of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni.”
I had always wondered what the palazzo was meant to look like, and when I stumbled upon the model in the Correr last summer, my curiosity was finally satisfied.