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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) Built Style Picture
1 Empire State Building New York NY William F. Lamb 1930–31 Art Deco
2 White House Washington DC James Hoban 1792–1800 Neoclassical
3 Washington National Cathedral Washington DC George Frederick Bodley, Henry Vaughan and Philip H. Frohman 1906–88 Gothic Revival
4 Jefferson Memorial Washington DC John Russell Pope 1939–43 Neoclassical
5 Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco CA Irving F. Morrow and Gertrude C. Morrow 1933–37 Art Deco
6 United States Capitol Washington DC William Thornton 1793–1962 Neoclassical
7 Lincoln Memorial Washington DC Henry Bacon 1914–22 Greek Revival
8 Biltmore Estate Asheville NC Richard Morris Hunt; Frederick Law Olmsted 1889–95 Châteauesque
9 Chrysler Building New York NY William Van Alen 1928–30 Art Deco
10 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Washington DC Maya Lin 1982 Modern
11 St. Patrick's Cathedral New York NY James Renwick 1858–78 Gothic Revival
12 Washington Monument Washington DC Robert Mills 1848–54 Egyptian Revival
13 Grand Central Terminal New York NY Reed and Stem; Warren and Wetmore 1903–13 Beaux-Arts
14 Gateway Arch St. Louis MO Eero Saarinen 1963–65 Modern
15 Supreme Court of the United States Washington DC Cass Gilbert 1932–35 Neoclassical
16 St. Regis New York NY Trowbridge & Livingston 1904 Beaux-Arts
17 Metropolitan Museum of Art New York NY Calvert Vaux; McKim, Mead & White; Richard Morris Hunt; Kevin Roche; John Dinkeloo 1895– 2012 Beaux-Arts
18 Hotel Del Coronado Coronado CA James W. Reid 1888 Victorian
19 World Trade Center (original towers) New York NY Minoru Yamasaki 1966–75 Modern
20 Brooklyn Bridge New York NY John Augustus Roebling 1869-83 Gothic Revival
21 Philadelphia City Hall Philadelphia PA John McArthur Jr. 1871–1901 Second Empire
22 Bellagio Hotel and Casino Las Vegas NV Deruyter Butler; Atlandia Design 1995–98 Italianate
23 Cathedral of St. John the Divine New York NY Heins & La Farge; Ralph Adams Cram 1892–1911 Gothic Revival
24 Philadelphia Museum of Art Philadelphia PA Horace Trumbauer, Zantzinger, Borie, and Medary 1919–28 Neoclassical
25 Trinity Church Boston MA Henry Hobson Richardson 1872–77 Richardsonian Romanesque
26 Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite Valley CA Gilbert Stanley Underwood 1926–27 National Park Service Rustic
27 Monticello Charlottesville VA Thomas Jefferson 1768–1826 Georgian
28 Library of Congress Washington DC John L. Smithmeyer and Paul J. Pelz 1890–97 Beaux-Arts
29 Fallingwater Mill Run PA Frank Lloyd Wright 1936–39 Modern/Organic
30 Taliesin Spring Green WI Frank Lloyd Wright 1911–59 Prairie School
31 Wrigley Field Chicago IL Zachary Taylor Davis 1911–14 Jewel Box Stadium
32 Wanamaker's Department Store Philadelphia PA Daniel Burnham 1876 Neo-Renaissance
33 Rose Center for Earth and Space New York NY James Stewart Polshek 2000 Structural Expressionist / Postmodern
34 National Gallery of Art (West Building) Washington DC John Russell Pope 1938–41 Neoclassical
35 Allegheny County Courthouse Pittsburgh PA Henry Hobson Richardson 1883–88 Richardsonian Romanesque
36 Old Faithful Inn Yellowstone National Park WY Robert Reamer 1903–27 National Park Service Rustic
37 Washington Union Station Washington DC Daniel Burnham 1908–89 Beaux-Arts
38 Tribune Tower Chicago IL John Mead Howells; Raymond Hood 1923–25 Gothic Revival
39 Delano Hotel Miami Beach FL Robert Swartburg; Philippe Starck (interior) 1947–94 Art Deco
40 Union Station St. Louis MO Theodore C. Link 1892 Romanesque
41 Hearst Residence San Simeon CA Julia Morgan 1919–1947 Spanish Revival
42 Willis (formerly Sears) Tower Chicago IL Fazlur Rahman Khan Bruce Graham 1970–74 Modern
43 Thomas Crane Public Library Quincy MA Henry Hobson Richardson 1881–82 Richardsonian Romanesque
44 Woolworth Building New York NY Cass Gilbert 1910–12 Gothic Revival
45 Cincinnati Union Terminal Cincinnati OH Fellheimer & Wagner 1928–33 Art Deco
46 Waldorf Astoria New York NY Schultze & Weaver 1929–31 Art Deco
47 New York Public Library New York NY Carrère and Hastings 1897–1911 Beaux-Arts
48 Carnegie Hall New York NY William B. Tuthill; Richard Morris Hunt and Dankmar Adler, consulting architects 1890–91 Italianate
49 San Francisco City Hall San Francisco CA Arthur Brown Jr. 1913–16 Beaux-Arts
50 Virginia State Capitol Richmond VA Thomas Jefferson 1785–88 Neoclassical
51 Cadet Chapel, Air Force Academy Colorado Springs CO Walter Netsch 1959–62 Futurist
52 Field Museum of Natural History Chicago IL Daniel Burnham and Graham, Anderson, Probst and White 1915–21 Neoclassical
53 Apple, 5th Avenue New York NY Bohlin Cywinski Jackson 2005–06 Structural Expressionist
54 Fisher Fine Arts Library Philadelphia PA Frank Furness 1888–90 Victorian
55 Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Kohala Coast HI Skidmore, Owings & Merrill 1965 Modern
56 Rockefeller Center New York NY Reinhard & Hofmeister, Corbett, Harrison & Macmurray, Raymond Hood, Godley & Fouilhoux 1930–39 Art Deco
57 Denver International Airport Denver CO Fentress Bradburn Architects 1989–95 Postmodern
58 Ames Free Library North Easton MA Henry Hobson Richardson 1877–79 Richardsonian Romanesque
59 Milwaukee Art Museum Milwaukee WI Santiago Calatrava 1994–2001 Postmodern
60 Thorncrown Chapel Eureka Springs AR E. Fay Jones 1980 Prairie School
61 Transamerica Pyramid San Francisco CA William Pereira 1969–72 Modern
62 333 Wacker Drive Chicago IL Kohn Pedersen Fox 1979–83 Modern
63 Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Washington DC Gyo Obata 1972–76 Modern
64 Faneuil Hall Boston MA Benjamin Thompson 1740–42 Georgian
65 Crystal Cathedral Garden Grove CA Philip Johnson 1977–80 Structural Expressionist / Postmodern
66 Gamble House Pasadena CA Greene and Greene 1908–09 American Craftsman
67 Nebraska State Capitol Lincoln NE Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue 1922–32 Art Deco / Neoclassical
68 New York Times Building New York NY Renzo Piano 2003–07 Structural Expressionist
69 Salt Lake City Public Library Salt Lake City UT Moshe Safdie 2000–03 Structural Expressionist / Postmodern
70 Walt Disney World Dolphin and Swan Hotels Lake Buena Vista FL Michael Graves 1987–88 Postmodern
71 Hearst Tower New York NY Norman Foster 2003–06 Structural Expressionist
72 Flatiron Building New York NY Daniel Burnham 1902 Beaux-Arts / Chicago school
73 Lake Point Tower Chicago IL Schipporeit and Heinrich 1965–68 Modern
74 Guggenheim Museum New York NY Frank Lloyd Wright 1956–59 Modern
75 Union Station Los Angeles CA The Parkinsons 1939 Spanish Revival
76 Willard Hotel Washington DC Henry Janeway Hardenbergh 1901 Beaux-Arts
77 Sever Hall, Harvard University Cambridge MA Henry Hobson Richardson 1878–80 Richardsonian Romanesque
78 Broadmoor Hotel Colorado Springs CO Warren & Wetmore 1918 Spanish Revival
79 Ronald Reagan Building Washington DC James Ingo Freed 1989–98 Postmodern, Neotraditional
80 Phillips Exeter Academy Library Exeter NH Louis Kahn 1965–71 Modern
81 The Plaza Hotel New York NY Henry J. Hardenbergh 1905–07 Beaux-Arts
82 Sofitel Chicago Water Tower Chicago IL Jean-Paul Viguier 2002 Postmodern
83 Glessner House Chicago IL Henry Hobson Richardson 1886–87 Richardsonian Romanesque
84 Yankee Stadium (1923) (demolished) New York NY Osborn Architects & Engineers 1922–23 Jewel Box Stadium
85 Harold Washington Library Chicago IL Hammond, Beeby and Babka 1988–91 Postmodern / Neotraditional
86 Lincoln Center New York NY Wallace Harrison, Philip Johnson and others 1955–69 Modern
87 The Dakota Apartments New York NY Henry Janeway Hardenbergh 1880–84 Neo-Renaissance
88 Art Institute of Chicago Chicago IL Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge 1893 Beaux-Arts
89 Fairmont Hotel San Francisco CA Reid & Reid 1907 Beaux-Arts
90 Boston Public Library Boston MA Charles Follen McKim 1887–95 Renaissance Revival
91 Hollywood Bowl Los Angeles CA Lloyd Wright 1929–2004 Expressionist
92 Texas State Capitol Austin TX Elijah E. Myers 1885–88 Neo-Renaissance
93 Fontainebleau Miami Beach FL Morris Lapidus 1954 Modern
94 Legal Research Building, University of Michigan Ann Arbor MI York and Sawyer 1924–33 Gothic Revival
95 Getty Center Los Angeles CA Richard Meier 1989–97 Modern
96 High Museum Atlanta GA Richard Meier 1980–83 Modern
97 Federal Building and United States Courthouse Central Islip NY Richard Meier 1996–2000 Modern
98 Humana Building Louisville KY Michael Graves 1982–85 Postmodern
99 Disney Concert Hall Los Angeles CA Frank Gehry 1999–2003 Postmodern / Deconstructivism
100 Radio City Music Hall New York NY Edward Durell Stone 1931–32 Art Deco
101 Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati OH NBBJ 1998–2000 Postmodern
102 United Airlines Terminal 1, O'Hare Airport Chicago IL Helmut Jahn 1985–87 Postmodern
103 Hyatt Regency Atlanta Atlanta GA John C. Portman Jr. 1967 Modern
104 Oracle Park San Francisco CA Populous 1997–2000 Retro-classical / Neotraditional
105 Time Warner Center New York NY David Childs 2000–03 Modern
106 Washington Metro Washington DC Harry Weese 1969–76 Brutalist
107 IDS Center (IDS Tower) Minneapolis MN Philip Johnson 1969–72 Modern
108 Seattle Central Library Seattle WA Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus 2002–04 Structural Expressionist / Deconstructivism
109 San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco CA Mario Botta 1992–95 Postmodern
110 Chicago Union Station Chicago IL Daniel Burnham and Graham, Anderson, Probst and White 1913–25 Art Deco
111 United Nations Headquarters New York NY Wallace Harrison and others 1948–52 Modern
112 National Building Museum Washington DC Montgomery C. Meigs 1882–87 Renaissance Revival
113 Fenway Park Boston MA James E. McLaughlin 1911–12 Jewel box ballpark
114 Dana–Thomas House Springfield IL Frank Lloyd Wright 1902–04 Prairie School
115 TWA Flight Center, JFK Airport New York NY Eero Saarinen 1959–62 Modern / Expressionist
116 The Athenaeum New Harmony IN Richard Meier 1979 Modern
117 Walker Art Center Minneapolis MN Edward Larrabee Barnes; Herzog & de Meuron 1969–71, 2005 Minimalist
118 American Airlines Center Dallas TX David M. Schwarz 1991–2001 Neotraditional
119 Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa Phoenix AZ Albert Chase McArthur with Frank Lloyd Wright consulting 1929 Art Deco
120 Richard J. Riordan Central Library Los Angeles CA Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue 1926 Art Deco, Mexican Baroque
121 San Francisco International Airport San Francisco CA Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Del Campo and Maru Architects, Michael Willis Architects 1995–2000 Modern
122 Camden Yards Baltimore MD Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum 1989–92 Retro-classical / Neotraditional
123 Taliesin West Scottsdale AZ Frank Lloyd Wright 1937 Modern
124 United States Holocaust Museum Washington DC James Ingo Freed, Pei Cobb Freed & Partners 1988–93 Neotraditional, Georgian, modern
125 Citicorp Center New York NY Hugh Stubbins & Associates; Emery Roth & Sons 1974–77 Postmodern
126 V. C. Morris Gift Shop San Francisco CA Frank Lloyd Wright 1948 Organic
127 Union Station Kansas City MO Jarvis Hunt 1914 Beaux-Arts architecture
128 Rookery Building Chicago IL Burnham and Root 1888 Chicago school
129 Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art Minneapolis MN Frank Gehry 1993 Postmodern / Deconstructivism
130 Douglas House Harbor Springs MI Richard Meier 1965–67 Modern
131 Aline Barnsdall Hollyhock House Los Angeles CA Frank Lloyd Wright 1919–21 Mayan Revival
132 Pennzoil Place Houston TX Philip Johnson 1976 Postmodern
133 Royalton Hotel New York NY Rossiter & Wright; Philippe Starck 1898, 1988 Neoclassical
134 Astrodome Houston TX Hermon Lloyd & W. B. Morgan, and Wilson, Morris, Crain and Anderson 1962–65 Postmodern
135 T-Mobile Park Seattle WA 1997–99 Retro-modern
136 Corning Museum of Glass Corning NY Gunnar Birkerts 1976–1980 Modern
137 30th Street Station Philadelphia PA Graham, Anderson, Probst and White 1927–33 Neoclassical
138 Robie House Chicago IL Frank Lloyd Wright 1909–10 Prairie School
139 Williams (formerly Transco) Tower Houston TX Philip Johnson 1981–83 Postmodern
140 Stahl House (Case Study House #22) Los Angeles CA Pierre Koenig 1959–60 Mid-century modern
141 Apple, SoHo New York NY Bohlin Cywinski Jackson 2002 Modern
142 John Hancock Tower Boston MA Henry N. Cobb 1968–76 Minimalist
143 Pennsylvania Station (demolished) New York NY McKim, Mead & White 1904–10 Neoclassical
144 Hyatt Regency San Francisco CA John Portman 1973 Postmodern
145 Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building Chicago IL Louis Sullivan 1899 Chicago school
146 Museum of Modern Art New York NY Philip Johnson 1939 International Style
147 Auditorium Building Chicago IL Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan 1887–89 Chicago school
148 Brown Palace Hotel Denver CO Frank Edbrooke 1892 Renaissance Revival
149 Ingalls Rink, Yale University New Haven CT Eero Saarinen 1953–58 Modern
150 Battle Hall, UT Austin Austin TX Cass Gilbert 1911 Spanish-Mediterranean Revival


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", FavoriteArchitecture.org website Archived May 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b American Institute of Architects Releases Poll Showing "America's Favorite Architecture" Archived February 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Building Online, March 15, 2007
  3. ^ American Institute of Architects, FavoriteArchitecture.org website Archived March 4, 2012, 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]