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Old Posted Feb 7, 2007, 10:35 PM
Exodus Exodus is offline
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Originally Posted by VivaLFuego View Post
Seems like a list of the most well-known and 'recognizable' structures, to me.
It is. The average person is only familier with main land marks, though they did pick out some nice ones. What surprises me is that the average person likes the classic look, I've always thought I was in the minority.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2007, 10:46 PM
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I think one could study this list and make observations but first exclude the super famous and iconic buildings as well as the emotionally attached buildings.
So what stands out to me is...
8 Biltmore Estates/Vanderbilt Residence NC - Ashville Hunt, Richard Morris 1895 Residence
9 Chrysler Building NY - New York Van Alen, William 1930 Skyscraper
10 Vietnam Veterans Memorial DC - Washington Maya Lin in association with Cooper-Lecky Partnership 1982 Memorial/Monument
16 St. Regis NY - New York Trowbridge & Livingston 1904 Hotel
18 Hotel Del Coronado CA - San Diego Reid, James 1888 Hotel
21 Philadelphia City Hall PA - Philadelphia McArthur, Jr., John 1881 Govt.
22 Bellagio Hotel and Casino NV - Las Vegas Jerde Partnership with Deruyter Butler and Atlandia Design 1998 Hotel
23 Cathedral of St. John the Divine NY - New York Heins & La Farge and Ralph Adams Cram Religious (unfinished)
24 Philadelphia Museum of Art PA - Philadelphia Trumbauer, Horace 1928 Museum
25 Trinity Church MA - Boston Richardson, Henry Hobson 1877 Religious
26 Ahwanee Hotel CA - Yosemite Valley Underwood, Gilbert Stanley 1928 Hotel
30 Taliesin East WI - Spring Green Wright, Frank Lloyd 1911 Residence
32 Wanamaker's Department Store PA - Philadelphia Burnham, Daniel 1909 Retail
33 Rose Center for Earth and Space - American Museum of Natural History, Museum of Natural History NY - New York Polshek Partnership 2000 Museum

and even some of these are iconic for their cities or what they represent

Or have a list of relatively unknown buildings yet of high architectural quality that would likely be judged for their architectural distinction not for their non-architectural meanings.

Remember that these buildings were nominated first by AIA members, it was the public that chose the ordering. It is a shock that the Seagram Building and Glass House were left off considering this.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2007, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
It is a building. You need to build a bridge, it just doesn't appear out of nowhere.

Anyways, they key to making good architecture is only one thing: craftmanship. Something that has been lacking in modernist architecture during the 20th century but has been improving in the new millenium.
Not a building, but a structure. Sure they had to "build" it, but the word "building" tends to have two different meanings.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2007, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Evergrey View Post
art deco is america's favorite architectural style!
It's my favorite, though I love many other styles.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2007, 11:21 PM
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I'm absolutely amazed that something as obscure as Frank Lloyd Wright's Morris Gift Shop made the list.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2007, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Lukecuj View Post
The Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas (No. 22) beats Frank Lloyd Wright's magisterial Fallingwater house in Bear Run, Pa. (No. 29).
That's the worst part and partly why I can't really accept this list as being anything more than just another list.
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Old Posted Feb 7, 2007, 11:59 PM
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americans love lists.

SPP'ers love ripping apart lists.
He has to go.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 12:21 AM
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The National Cathedral at number three makes the list worthless for me. Derivative and not even visited all that much by visitors to Washington compared to the Smithsonian, Capitol, etc. If you gave a bunch of postcards to a set of chimpanzees you could probably develop a list as valuble.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 5:19 AM
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I was surprised at the lack of Los Angeles buildings on the list, especially farther and farther down.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 5:51 AM
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Nice to see Boston's Trinity Church only came in 3 spots behind a casino in Las Vegas!
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 6:23 AM
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I seem to recall when I was in architecture school reading a list like this from the 1950's done just by architects.

IIRC (I don't recall the order), the top 5:

Empire State Building
Chrysler Building
Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln
PSFS Building, Philadelphia
Terminal Tower, Cleveland

I would easily rate all 5 of these in my top 100 buildings in this country.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 7:56 AM
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Originally Posted by bryson662001 View Post
Before 9/11 the twin towers would have been near the top of the list of the most reviled buildings.
I don't think so. This is basically a list of the most well-known buildings. This is the general public, not fans (or critics) of architecture or the urban form. I don't think most people disliked the WTC, especially people outside of NYC.

Anything that's on postcards or is a standard tourist attraction is likely to show up on this list. Things like the sports venues on are on the list because people see them on TV and large numbers of the general public go into them to see events. Some things are on this list happen to actually be good architecture, and others are there just because they're big and impressive.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 8:15 AM
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 11:59 AM
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Isn't there a big difference between saying, "What are your favorite buildings' then 'what do you think are the buildings that best represent good architecture"?? It sounds like the first question is closer to what was asked. In fact some of my favorites are not architecturally great either. I would have different responses to the different questions so I see no problem with people answering the way they did. Unless they went out of their way to say 'be sure to pick which buildings you think are the best architectually' people are going tp simply say what they like the best. Were the people who liked the Bellagio simply saying they chose it because it was great architecture...... or because they thought it was impressive, attractive, a spectacle, fun and lively, pleasing to the eye, etc.? Probably the latter.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 1:03 PM
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The Empire State, it's always been my favorite, so I owe it a little tribute...here's to Number 1!

NEW YORK. World's capital.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 4:40 PM
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Interesting list, but the title is a little misleading. Seems more based on recognition than actual architectural scrutiny. I think the average American likes a lot of things because they're either "pretty", or well known and recognizable.

Edit -

I looked back at the title, I guess it's just "America's favorite buildings", not best architecture. Makes me stand by my comment as to why these are on the list though.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 6:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Exodus View Post
It is. The average person is only familier with main land marks, though they did pick out some nice ones. What surprises me is that the average person likes the classic look, I've always thought I was in the minority.
this would only surprise you if you hung out with a lot of architects and designers. It still surprises them, and they can't understand it.
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 6:40 PM
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One thing that some of these architects need to learn- it doesn't matter how much critics or other architects like a building, or how well it fits in with the design trends du jour, or how "classic" it is. People need to relate to it for it to be a full success. The architectural community hated the WTC, but alot of people liked it- it was a landmark, and an accessable one at that- you could go to the top for the food or the view, and enjoy it. Many people since 9/11 have said that coming into NYC from outside, when you saw the towers, they knew they had arrived- it felt like they were home.

I guess I'm in the minority when I don't think that looks are the ONLY thing that matter in a building. What good is cutting edge design if the architectural community likes it, but the people who have to deal with it every day hate it or just can't relate? After 9/11 I saw so many architects dismissing the WTC, saying "Oh well, they were ugly anyway, no big loss" or some variant thereof. They completely ignored and brushed off as insignificant the fact that their image was known and loved by people all over the world. It's almost like having a person in your neighborhood murdered- that person being a friend and familiar face to many. And then some jackass afterward saying "Oh well, no big loss that they're dead. It's not like they were a supermodel or anyone important".
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Old Posted Feb 8, 2007, 8:38 PM
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I'm shocked that the architecture community didn't already know this stuff.

The Seagram Building?! To most of us it's just another boring box behind a boring plaza. Did architects really think the public likes it?

It's interesting to watch the deluge of defensiveness and denial coming from the architecture community. I'm sure that their next step will be a series of calls for the public to be "educated" about architecture. In truth the architects are equally in need of education, as there's truth on both sides.
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Old Posted Feb 10, 2007, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by BTinSF View Post
I'm not sure it's a "building" but it is beautiful:

New York may be the greatest bridge city in the world, but no single bridge can touch the Golden Gate. Wow!

As for the list, it isn't claiming to be a definitive review of America's buildings, it's simply a list of builings we like the most. The poll used a large sample size of people, so i don't think anyone can question its accuracy. Sure it'd be nice to see the Seagram building and Lever House on there, but for the most part it looks like Americans have pretty good taste.
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