America's Favorite Architecture

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"America's Favorite Architecture" is a list of buildings and other structures identified as the most popular works of architecture in the United States.

In 2006 and 2007, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) sponsored research to identify the most popular works of architecture in the United States. Harris Interactive conducted the study by first polling a sample of the AIA membership and later polling a sample of the public.[1]

In the first phase of the study, 2,448 AIA members were interviewed and asked to identify their "favorite" structures. Each was asked to name up to 20 structures in each of 15 defined categories. The 248 structures that were named by at least six of the AIA members were then included in a list of structures to be included in the next phase, a survey of the general public. The survey of the public involved a total of 2,214 people, each of whom rated many photographs of buildings and other structures drawn from the list of 248 structures that had been created by polling the architects. The public's preferences were ranked using a "likeability" scale developed for the study.[1][2]

As part of the commemoration of the organization's 150th anniversary in 2007, the AIA announced the list of the 150 highest-ranked structures as "America's Favorite Architecture". New York City is the location of 32 structures on the list, more than any other place. Of the 10 top-ranked structures, 6 are in Washington, DC, which is the location of 17 of the 150 structures on the complete list.[2] Chicago has 16 structures on the list.

The 150 top-ranked structures are listed below.[3]

List of "America's Favorites"[edit]

Structure City State Architect(s) Style Picture
1 Empire State Building New York City NY William F. Lamb Art Deco
Empire State Building from the Top of the Rock.jpg
2 The White House Washington DC James Hoban Neoclassical WhiteHouseSouthFacade.JPG
3 Washington National Cathedral Washington DC George Frederick Bodley, Henry Vaughan and Philip H. Frohman Gothic Revival Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C..jpg
4 Jefferson Memorial Washington DC John Russell Pope Neoclassical Jefferson Memorial Factbook.jpg
5 Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco CA Irving F. Morrow and Gertrude C. Morrow Art Deco GoldenGateBridge-001.jpg
6 United States Capitol Washington DC William Thornton Neoclassical United States Capitol - west front.jpg
7 Lincoln Memorial Washington DC Henry Bacon Greek Revival Lincoln-Memorial WashingtonDC Crop.jpg
8 Biltmore Estate/Vanderbilt Residence Asheville NC Richard Morris Hunt; Frederick Law Olmsted Châteauesque Biltmore Estate.jpg
9 Chrysler Building New York NY William Van Alen Art Deco
Chrysler building- top.jpg
10 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Washington DC Maya Lin Modern Vietnam-memorial-soldier.jpg
11 St. Patrick's Cathedral New York NY James Renwick Gothic Revival
Saint Patrick's Cathedral by David Shankbone.jpg
12 Washington Monument Washington DC Robert Mills Egyptian Revival
Washington Monument Dusk Jan 2006.jpg
13 Grand Central Terminal New York NY Reed and Stem; Warren and Wetmore Beaux-Arts Image-Grand central Station Outside Night 2.jpg
14 Gateway Arch St. Louis MO Eero Saarinen Modern STL Skyline 2007 edit cropped.jpg
15 Supreme Court of the United States Washington DC Cass Gilbert Neoclassical USSupremeCourtWestFacade.JPG
16 St. Regis New York NY Trowbridge & Livingston Beaux-Arts
St. Regis Hotel, Manhattan, New York City.jpg
17 Metropolitan Museum of Art New York NY Calvert Vaux; McKim, Mead & White; Richard Morris Hunt; Kevin Roche; John Dinkeloo Beaux-Arts Metropolitan museum of art 2.jpg
18 Hotel Del Coronado Coronado CA James W. Reid Victorian FullCoronadoHotel.jpg
19 World Trade Center (original towers) New York NY Minoru Yamasaki Modern
World Trade Center, New York City - aerial view (March 2001).jpg
20 Brooklyn Bridge New York NY John Augustus Roebling Gothic Revival Brooklyn Bridge Postdlf.jpg
21 Philadelphia City Hall Philadelphia PA John McArthur Jr. Second Empire
22 Bellagio Hotel and Casino Las Vegas NV Deruyter Butler; Atlandia Design Italianate Bellagio-front.jpg
23 Cathedral of St. John the Divine New York NY Heins & La Farge; Ralph Adams Cram Gothic Revival StJohnTheDivineWilliamPorto.jpg
24 Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia PA Horace Trumbauer, Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary Neoclassical Philadephia Museum of Art.jpg
25 Trinity Church Boston MA Henry Hobson Richardson Richardsonian Romanesque Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts - front oblique view.JPG
26 Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite Valley CA Gilbert Stanley Underwood National Park Service Rustic Yosemite - Ahwahnee Hotel.jpg
27 Monticello Charlottesville VA Thomas Jefferson Georgian Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Estate.jpg
28 Library of Congress Washington DC John L. Smithmeyer and Paul J. Pelz Beaux-Arts LOC Main Reading Room Highsmith.jpg
29 Fallingwater/Edgar J. Kaufmann Sr. Residence Mill Run PA Frank Lloyd Wright Modern/Organic
30 Taliesin Spring Green WI Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie School Taliesin600.jpg
31 Wrigley Field Chicago IL Zachary Taylor Davis Jewel Box Stadium Wrigley field 720.jpg
32 Wanamaker's Department Store Philadelphia PA Daniel Burnham Neo-Renaissance
The Grand Court.jpg
33 Rose Center for Earth and Space New York NY James Stewart Polshek Structural Expressionist / Postmodern Rose Center for Earth and Space.jpg
34 National Gallery of Art (West Building) Washington DC John Russell Pope Neoclassical NatGal.jpg
35 Allegheny County Courthouse Pittsburgh PA Henry Hobson Richardson Richardsonian Romanesque
36 Old Faithful Inn Yellowstone National Park WY Robert Reamer National Park Service Rustic
Old Faithful Inn main facade.jpg
37 Union Station Washington DC Daniel Burnham Beaux-Arts
38 Tribune Tower Chicago IL John Mead Howells;Raymond Hood Gothic Revival
Chicago 29 Oct116.jpg
39 Delano Hotel Miami Beach FL Robert Swartburg; Philippe Starck (interior) Art Deco
40 Union Station St. Louis MO Theodore C. Link Romanesque
41 Hearst Residence San Simeon CA Julia Morgan Spanish Revival
Ext hearst castle.jpg
42 Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower Chicago IL Fazlur Rahman Khan Bruce Graham Modern
Sears Tower ss.jpg
43 Thomas Crane Public Library Quincy MA Henry Hobson Richardson Richardsonian Romanesque
Thomas Crane Public Library, Quincy, Massachusetts (Front view).JPG
44 Woolworth Building New York NY Cass Gilbert Gothic Revival
45 Cincinnati Union Terminal Cincinnati OH Alfred Fellheimer and Stewart Wagner; Paul Philippe Cret, consulting architect Art Deco
46 Waldorf Astoria New York NY Schultze & Weaver Art Deco
Waldorf Astoria Hotel.jpg
47 New York Public Library New York NY Carrère and Hastings Beaux-Arts
NYC Public Library postcard 1920.jpg
48 Carnegie Hall New York NY William B. Tuthill; Richard Morris Hunt and Dankmar Adler, consulting architects Italianate
Carnegie Hall, NYC.jpg
49 San Francisco City Hall San Francisco CA Arthur Brown, Jr. Beaux-Arts
50 Virginia State Capitol Richmond VA Thomas Jefferson Neoclassical
Virginia State Capitol.jpg
51 Cadet Chapel, Air Force Academy Colorado Springs CO Walter Netsch Futurist
USAFA Cadet Chapel.jpg
52 Field Museum of Natural History Chicago IL Daniel Burnham and Graham, Anderson, Probst and White Neoclassical
53 Apple, 5th Avenue New York NY Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Structural Expressionist
Apple store fifth avenue.jpg
54 Furness Library, U. Penn. Philadelphia PA Frank Furness Victorian
55 Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Kohala Coast HI Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Modern
Mauna Kea hotel.jpg
56 Rockefeller Center New York NY Reinhard & Hofmeister, Corbett, Harrison & Macmurray, Raymond Hood, Godley & Fouilhoux Art Deco
Rockefeller Center1021.jpg
57 Denver International Airport Denver CO Fentress Bradburn Architects Postmodern
Denver International Airport.jpg
58 Ames Free Library North Easton MA Henry Hobson Richardson Richardsonian Romanesque
Ames Free Library (North Easton, MA) - oblique view.JPG
59 Milwaukee Art Museum Milwaukee WI Santiago Calatrava Postmodern
Milwaukee Art Museum 1 (Mulad).jpg
60 Thorncrown Chapel Eureka Springs AR E. Fay Jones Prairie School
Thorncrown Chapel.jpg
61 Transamerica Pyramid San Francisco CA William Pereira Modern
Transamerica Pyramid1.jpg
62 333 Wacker Drive Chicago IL Kohn Pedersen Fox Modern
333 Wacker Drive Chicago.jpg
63 Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum Washington DC Gyo Obata Modern
Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.jpg
64 Faneuil Hall Marketplace Boston MA Benjamin Thompson Georgian
Faneuil Hall Boston Massachusetts.JPG
65 Crystal Cathedral Garden Grove CA Philip Johnson Structural Expressionist / Postmodern
66 Gamble House Pasadena CA Greene and Greene American Craftsman
GambleHouse-2005 edit1.jpg
67 Nebraska State Capitol Lincoln NE Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Art Deco/Neoclassical
USA ne lincoln capitol.jpg
68 New York Times Building New York NY Renzo Piano Structural Expressionist
69 Salt Lake City Public Library Salt Lake City UT Moshe Safdie Structural Expressionist / Postmodern
2006 Salt Lake City Public Library exterior.jpg
70 Walt Disney World Dolphin and Swan Hotels Lake Buena Vista FL Michael Graves Postmodern
71 Hearst Tower New York NY Norman Foster Structural Expressionist
72 Flatiron Building New York NY Daniel Burnham Beaux-Arts/Chicago school
Flatiron crop 20040522 114306 1.jpg
73 Lake Point Tower Chicago IL Schipporeit and Heinrich Modern
74 Guggenheim Museum New York NY Frank Lloyd Wright Modern
Guggenheim museum exterior.jpg
75 Union Station Los Angeles CA The Parkinsons Spanish Revival
Union Station profile, LA, CA, jjron 22.03.2012.jpg
76 Willard Hotel Washington DC Henry Janeway Hardenbergh Beaux-Arts
Willard Intercontinental Hotel.JPG
77 Sever Hall, Harvard University Cambridge MA Henry Hobson Richardson Richardsonian Romanesque
Sever Hall (Harvard University) - east facade.JPG
78 Broadmoor Hotel Colorado Springs CO Warren & Wetmore Spanish Revival
Broadmoor lake panorama to west.jpg
79 Ronald Reagan Building Washington DC James Ingo Freed Postmodern
Ronald Reagan Building - Washington, DC.jpg
80 Phillips Exeter Academy Library Exeter NH Louis Kahn Modern
Phillips Exeter Library atrium Highsmith.jpg
81 The Plaza Hotel New York NY Henry J. Hardenbergh Beaux-Arts
Plaza hotel.jpg
82 Sofitel Chicago Water Tower Chicago IL Jean-Paul Viguier Postmodern
83 Glessner House Chicago IL Henry Hobson Richardson Richardsonian Romanesque
84 Yankee Stadium (1923) (demolished) New York NY Osborn Architects & Engineers Jewel Box Stadium
Yankee stadium exterior.jpg
85 Harold Washington Library Chicago IL Hammond, Beeby and Babka Postmodern
Chicago Library Downtown.png
86 Lincoln Center New York NY Wallace Harrison, Philip Johnson and others Modern
Lincoln Center Twilight.jpg
87 The Dakota Apartments New York NY Henry Janeway Hardenbergh Neo-Renaissance
The Dakota 1890b.jpg
88 Art Institute of Chicago Chicago IL Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge Beaux-Arts
Art Institute of Chicago Front.jpg
89 Fairmont Hotel San Francisco CA Reid & Reid Beaux-Arts
90 Boston Public Library Boston MA Charles Follen McKim Renaissance Revival
USA Boston Public Library 2 MA.jpg
91 Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles CA Expressionist
Hollywood bowl and sign.jpg
92 Texas State Capitol Austin TX Elijah E. Myers Neo-Renaissance
Texas capitol.jpg
93 Fontainebleau Miami Beach FL Morris Lapidus Modern
Fontainebleau Hotel 1955 LOC gsc.5a23477u.jpg
94 Legal Research Building, University of Michigan Ann Arbor MI York and Sawyer Gothic Revival
Law School Facade 2009.JPG
95 Getty Center Los Angeles CA Richard Meier Modern
96 High Museum Atlanta GA Richard Meier Modern
10 The High.jpg
97 Federal Building and United States Courthouse Central Islip NY Richard Meier Modern
98 Humana Building Louisville KY Michael Graves Postmodern HumanaBuilding1.jpg
99 Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles CA Frank Gehry Postmodern / "Blobitecture"
Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA, CA, jjron 22.03.2012.jpg
100 Radio City Music Hall New York NY Edward Durell Stone Art Deco
Radio city exterior.jpg
101 Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati OH NBBJ Postmodern
102 United Airlines Terminal 1, O'Hare Airport Chicago IL Helmut Jahn Modern
Ohare Neon Walkway.jpg
103 Hyatt Regency Atlanta Atlanta GA John C. Portman, Jr. Modern
104 AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants Stadium) San Francisco CA Populous Retro ballpark
AT&T Park July 24, 2016.jpg
105 Time Warner Center New York NY David Childs Modern
Time Warner Center May 2010.JPG
106 Washington Metro Washington DC Harry Weese Brutalist
WMATA Metro Center crossvault 2009.jpg
107 IDS Center (IDS Tower) Minneapolis MN Philip Johnson Modern
IDS Center-Minneapolis-2005-09-27.jpg
108 Seattle Central Library Seattle WA Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus
Seattle Central Library, Seattle, Washington - 20060418.jpg
109 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco CA Mario Botta Postmodern
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2011.jpg
110 Union Station Chicago IL Daniel Burnham and Graham, Anderson, Probst and White
Chicago (ILL) Union Station, great Hall, 1925.jpg
111 United Nations Headquarters New York NY Wallace Harrison and others Modern
United Nations HQ - New York City.jpg
112 National Building Museum Washington DC Montgomery C. Meigs Renaissance Revival
National Building Museum DC 2007 h2.jpg
113 Fenway Park Boston MA
Fenway from Legend's Box.jpg
114 Dana-Thomas House Springfield IL Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie School
Dana Thomas Windows.jpg
115 TWA Terminal, JFK Airport New York NY Eero Saarinen Modern / Expressionist
116 The Athenaeum New Harmony IN Richard Meier
The Atheneum, New Harmony, Indiana, 1979.jpg
117 Walker Art Center Minneapolis MN Edward Larrabee Barnes
118 American Airlines Center Dallas TX Art Deco
American Airlines Center outside.jpg
119 Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa Phoenix AZ Albert Chase McArthur with Frank Lloyd Wright consulting
120 Los Angeles Central Library Los Angeles CA Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue
121 San Francisco International Airport San Francisco CA Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Del Campo and Maru Architects, Michael Willis Architects
San Francisco International Airport at night.jpg
122 Camden Yards Baltimore MD Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum
CamdenYards 2005-05-08.jpg
123 Taliesin West Scottsdale AZ Frank Lloyd Wright
124 United States Holocaust Museum Washington DC James Ingo Freed, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Hall of witness.jpg
125 Citicorp Center New York NY Hugh Stubbins & Associates; Emery Roth & Sons
Citigroup center.jpg
126 V. C. Morris Gift Shop / Xanadu Gallery San Francisco CA Frank Lloyd Wright
Moriss Gift Interior HABS CAL,38-SANFRA,160-7.jpg
127 Union Station Kansas City MO Jarvis Hunt Beaux-Arts architecture
128 Rookery Building Chicago IL Burnham and Root Chicago school
1891 Rookery building.jpg
129 Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Minneapolis MN Frank Gehry Postmodern / "Blobitecture"
Weisman Art Museum.jpg
130 Douglas House Harbor Springs MI Richard Meier Modern
131 Aline Barnsdall Hollyhock House Los Angeles CA Frank Lloyd Wright
Hollyhock House.JPG
132 Pennzoil Place Houston TX Philip Johnson
Building5 houston.jpg
133 Royalton Hotel New York NY Philippe Starck
134 Astrodome Houston TX
Reliant Astrodome.jpg
135 Safeco Field Seattle WA
136 Corning Museum of Glass Corning NY Gunnar Birkerts
Corning Museum of Glass.jpg
137 30th Street Station Philadelphia PA Graham, Anderson, Probst and White Neoclassical
30th Street Station Philly.JPG
138 Robie House Chicago IL Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie School
Robie House HABS1.jpg
139 Williams Tower (Transco Tower) Houston TX Philip Johnson
140 Stahl House (Case Study House #22) Los Angeles CA Pierre Koenig
Case Study House No. 21.JPG
141 Apple, SoHo New York NY Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Genius Bar, SoHo Apple Store, September 2003.jpg
142 John Hancock Tower Boston MA Henry N. Cobb
John Hancock Tower.jpg
143 Pennsylvania Station (demolished) New York NY McKim, Mead & White
Penn Station1.jpg
144 Hyatt Regency San Francisco CA John Portman
Five Embarcardero Center.jpg
145 Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building Chicago IL Louis Sullivan Chicago school
Carson Pirie Scott building, Chicago, Illinois - Louis Sullivan.jpg
146 Museum of Modern Art New York NY
MoMa NY USA 1.jpg
147 Auditorium Building Chicago IL Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan Chicago school
Chicago Auditorium Building, exterior from Michigan Avenue.jpg
148 Brown Palace Hotel Denver CO Frank Edbrooke
149 David S. Ingalls Rink, Yale University New Haven CT Eero Saarinen
Yale Ingalls Rink.jpg
150 Battle Hall, U. Texas Austin TX Cass Gilbert Spanish-Mediterranean Revival
Battle hall 2007.jpg


When it was released, critics observed that the list of "favorites" did not reflect the judgments of architectural experts. Upon the list's release, AIA president R.K. Stewart acknowledged that the rankings did not represent architects' professional judgments, but instead reflected people's "emotional connections" to buildings.[4] Buildings named by critics as being some that architects consider to be highly significant, but that did not achieve top 150 ranking in the public survey, included the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, designed by Louis Kahn; the Inland Steel and John Hancock buildings in Chicago; Washington Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia, designed by Eero Saarinen; and the Seagram Building in New York City, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.[4][5] John King of the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out that in 1991 the AIA had named Eero Saarinen's design for Dulles Airport as one of ten "all-time works of American architects." King noted that the public's ratings were based on seeing just one photo of each building, and pointed out that "There's more to architecture than a picture can convey."[4]

Structures ranked below the top 150[edit]

The 98 buildings that were listed by architects as significant, but did not rank in the top 150 in the public vote, were:[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b American Institute of Architects, "About this Exhibit", website Archived May 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b American Institute of Architects Releases Poll Showing "America's Favorite Architecture" Archived 2012-09-13 at WebCite, Building Online, March 15, 2007
  3. ^ American Institute of Architects, website Archived 2012-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d John King, When it comes to the tops in architecture, it's all about how it makes people feel, San Francisco Chronicle, February 13, 2007
  5. ^ Alex Frangos, Americans' Favorite Buildings, The Wall Street Journal, February 7, 2007

External links[edit]