10 That Changed America

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10 That Changed America is a series of television documentary films about the history of architecture and urban planning produced by US public service broadcaster PBS member station WTTW from 2013 to 2018. The series is presented by Geoffrey Baer and produced by Dan Protess.[1]

The series comprises seven separate films, each approximately 55 minutes in length. The initial episode on 10 Buildings That Changed America was broadcast in 2013. A three part season 1 comprising episodes on 10 Homes, 10 Towns and 10 Parks followed in 2016.

Season 2 with three further episodes covering 10 Streets, 10 Monuments and 10 Modern Marvels aired in July 2018.[1]

10 Buildings That Changed America[edit]

Buildings in presentation order with credited architect, location and year
Building Credited Architect Location Year
1 Virginia State Capitol Thomas Jefferson Richmond, Virginia 1788
2 Trinity Church Henry Richardson Boston, Massachusetts 1877
3 Wainwright Building Louis Sullivan St. Louis, Missouri 1891
4 Robie House Frank Lloyd Wright Chicago, Illinois 1910
5 Highland Park Ford Plant Albert Kahn Highland Park, Michigan 1910
6 Southdale Center Victor Gruen Edina, Minnesota 1956
7 Seagram Building Mies van der Rohe New York, New York 1958
8 Dulles International Airport Eero Saarinen Chantilly, Virginia 1962
9 Vanna Venturi House Robert Venturi Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1964
10 Disney Concert Hall Frank Gehry Los Angeles, California 2003

10 Homes That Changed America[edit]

Homes in presentation order with credited architect, location and year
Home Credited Architects Location Year
1 Taos Pueblo Taos, New Mexico 1400s
2 Monticello Thomas Jefferson Charlottesville, Virginia 1809
3 Lyndhurst A J Davis Tarrytown, New York 1842
4 The Tenement New York, New York mid 1800s
5 The Gamble House Charles and Henry Greene Pasadena, California 1908
6 Langston Terrace Dwellings Hilyard Robinson Washington, DC 1938
7 Fallingwater Frank Lloyd Wright Mill Run, Pennsylvania 1937
8 Eames House Charles and Ray Eames Pacific Palisades, California 1949
9 Marina City Bertrand Goldberg Chicago, Illinois 1962
10 Glidehouse Michelle Kaufmann Novato, California 2004

10 Towns That Changed America[edit]

Towns in presentation order with credited planners and year
Town Credited Planners Year
1 St. Augustine, Florida Laws of the Indies 1565
2 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania William Penn 1682
3 Salt Lake City, Utah Joseph Smith 1847
4 Riverside, Illinois Frederick Law Olmsted 1868
5 Pullman, Illinois George Pullman and Solon S Beman 1880
6 Greenbelt, Maryland Clarence S Stein 1935
7 Levittown, New York Levitt and Sons 1947
8 Southwest Washington, DC Louis Justement and Chloethiel Smith 1952
9 Seaside, Florida Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co 1981
10 Pearl District, Portland, Oregon Portland Planning Commission and Jane Jacobs 1997

10 Parks That Changed America[edit]

Parks in presentation order with location, credited planner and year
Park Location Credited Planner Year
1 Squares of Savannah Savannah, Georgia 1733
2 Fairmount Park Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1812
3 Mount Auburn Cemetery Cambridge, Massachusetts Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn 1831
4 Central Park New York, New York Frederick Law Olmsted, Calvert Vaux 1857
5 Chicago's Neighborhood Parks Chicago, Illinois 1869
6 San Antonio River Walk San Antonio, Texas Robert Hugman 1929
7 Overton Park Memphis, Tennessee George Kessler 1906
8 Freeway Park Seattle, Washington Angela Danadjieva 1976
9 Gas Works Park Seattle, Washington Richard Haag 1975
10 The High Line New York, New York James Corner 2009

10 Streets That Changed America[edit]

The chosen streets, in rough chronological order of establishment, were New York City's Broadway, the Boston Post Road linking Boston, MA to New York, NY, St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans, LA, the National Road linking Cumberland, MD to Vandalia, IL, Brooklyn's Eastern Parkway in New York City, Woodward Avenue in Detroit, MI, the Lincoln Highway from New York, NY to San Francisco, CA, Greenwood Avenue in Tulsa, OK, Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, CA, and the Kalamazoo Mall outdoor pedestrian shopping mall at Kalamazoo, MI.[2]

10 Monuments That Changed America[edit]

The chosen monuments were the Bunker Hill Monument at Boston, MA (1843), the Statue of Liberty (1886), Standing Soldiers monuments to Civil War dead (post 1865), the Robert Gould Shaw/54th Regiment Memorial at Boston, MA (1897), the Lincoln Memorial at Washington, DC (1922), Mount Rushmore (1941), the Gateway Arch at St. Louis, MO (1965), the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Washington, DC (1982), the AIDS Memorial Quilt (1987), and the Oklahoma City National Memorial at Oklahoma City, OK (2000).[3]

10 Modern Marvels That Changed America[edit]

The civil engineering feats were the Erie Canal (1825), the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge across the Ohio River at Cincinnati, OH (1866), the Transcontinental Railroad (1869), the Eads Bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Louis, MO (1874), the Reversal of the Chicago River (1900), the Holland Tunnel under the Hudson River connecting New York, NY to Jersey City, NJ (1927), the Hoover Dam (1936), the Colorado River Aqueduct (1935), the Interstate Highway System (1956), and New Orleans' Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (2005)

Critical response[edit]

The initial episode on 10 Buildings That Changed America received mixed reviews from architecture critics. It was recognised as achieving the goal to "explain complex battles over architectural ideas, in clear language, to a broad audience".[4] However, it was also criticised as lacking substance and failing to address "the historical, social and economic impact of these 10 buildings".[5] The Minneapolis Star Tribune highlighted the series 1 episode covering 10 Homes That Changed America for informativeness on "influential homes that transformed residential living".[6]


  1. ^ a b Rockett, Darcel (10 July 2018). "Marvels, monuments and streets: '10 That Changed America' is back for another season". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  2. ^ Crawley, Melissa (3 July 2018). "Stay Tuned: TV Review: '10 That Changed America'". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  3. ^ Waldek, Stefanie (4 July 2018). "10 Monuments and Memorials That Changed America Forever". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  4. ^ Hawthorne, Christopher. "'10 Buildings That Changed America' is a rewarding tour", Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2013. Retrieved on 1 July 2018.
  5. ^ Kennicott, Philip. "Little of substance in PBS’s ‘10 Buildings That Changed America’", The Washington Post, Washington, 9 May 2013. Retrieved on 1 July 2018.
  6. ^ Palmer, Kim. "Worth watching", Star Tribune, Minneapolis, 2 Apr 2016. Retrieved on 2 July 2018.

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