This introductory essay frames the theme of the Built/Unbuilt Issue of Southern Cultures by bringing attention to the incomplete and unrealized aspects of seemingly ordinary landscapes of the New South. Confronting the unusual form of Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina, the essay defamiliarizes this popular site through an exploration of its broader social, economic, and artistic aims. Built in the aftermath of the Great Depression and World War II, state-owned Dorton and the fairgrounds were one of the pioneering manifestations of a new regional development paradigm that sought to battle social and economic fragmentation and the rise of fascism in industrial societies. The essay traces the ambivalent reception of these technologies of development that resulted in their incomplete implementation and misuse, as in the case of cars and racialized suburban sprawl. Indicative of many of the projects examined in the issue, these incomplete sites have now become ordinary parts of the American South.