March 15, 2007

What's your favorite...

... building? America's choice is the Empire State Building. And we don't care so much for those showy new things. The Milwaukee Art Museum did okay, though. Number 59. I've been there:

Milwaukee Art Museum

ADDED: Sad Google search that I did, meaning to spiff up this post.

26 comments:

Peter said...

I myself love Gehry's buldings and count myself very fortunate to work in Clevleand next door to his Peter B. Lewis building (housing Case Western Reserve's Weatherhead School of Business). And I love the new Getty museum in L.A., though I love the old one too that's just recently reopened in Malibu, which is in about as old a style as you can get in contemporary times -- it's a reproduction of a classical Roman villa. But I can understand perfectly well why most Americans prefer much older styles. There are plenty of people around me who hate the Peter B. Lewis building, and it's plain that time tells a lot in the appreciation of the "new."

Henry said...

How Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium beat out Fenway Park (and by a wide margin!) I don't know.

It's all about the fan base, I guess.

Brent said...

Walt Disney Hall at The Music Center, LA

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Simon said...

The Capitol, by a country mile. I think its just stunningly beautiful.

The only modern building I really like is the Lloyds building, which has a peculiar "the aliens have landed" vibe to it.

MadisonMan said...

The link to the favorites isn't working with my firefox. But I'll list my favorites, maybe they're on the list:

FallingWater. Split Rock Lighthouse. Those round apartment buildings on the Chicago River that you could see in the old Bob Newhart show opening. The Carson Pirie Scott Building in Chicago. The Flatiron Building. Milwaukee City Hall.

Anthony said...

I have to say, my favorite is still the Wisconsin State Capital. The building is beautiful, the setting is beautiful, and I have fond memories of the place. Do they still do the. . . .Concerts on the Square? I think that's what they called it. It's even beautiful at night.

My favorite skyscraper is the Chrysler.

Simon said...

The Slate story says:
"It's tempting to conclude that people just dislike Modernist architecture, but Maya Lin's Vietnam Veterans Memorial (No. 10) and Eero Saarinen's Gateway Arch in St. Louis (No. 14) are resolutely Minimalist, and the Empire State Building, which is No. 1, is Art Deco Modernist."

I'm not an architecture geek, so maybe I just don't understand the terminology, but how do affections for two minimalist buildings and an art deco building rebut the "tempt[ation] to conclude that people just dislike Modernist architecture"? When I think of "modernist architecture," I think of those glass-and-steel monstrosities that now dot far eastern metropoli.

I'm with Kaimi Wenger - "Give me marble columns and an imposing staircase over modern architechture, any day."

al said...

Those round apartment buildings on the Chicago River that you could see in the old Bob Newhart show opening.

Marina Towers?

One of my favorite buildings made the list - the chapel at the Air Force Academy.

As for what I like - churches. Older ones. The new megaboxes aren't inspiring but sitting in the same pew where Jefferson was said to have sat - thats cool.

Patrick said...

I like the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in L.A.

The alabaster windows are amazing. It's very much a Vatican II building, very open, light filled, soothing, while also very reflective of California style.

Ann Althouse said...

Anthony: Sure, we have Concerts on the Square. They are a huge deal here. The place is packed. There are many other Square things here that are well attended: the farmers market, Taste of Madison, Art Fair, etc. Myself, I avoid them all. Too crowded!

Simon: Funny to call the Vietnam Memorial and the arch "buildings." Maybe people like modern things that aren't buildings

I was surprised that Monticello wasn't first. And I don't see why the Empire State Building should beat out the Chrysler Building... even in the category of NYC skyscrapers.

Simon said...

"Funny to call the Vietnam Memorial and the arch 'buildings.' Maybe people like modern things that aren't buildings"

That thought hadn't even ocurred to me, but sure, I agree. IT seems like the author had decided on a point to make and was reaching to something, anything from the list to cite in support of it.


"And I don't see why the Empire State Building should beat out the Chrysler Building... even in the category of NYC skyscrapers."

The Empire State Building strikes me as very masculine - all sharp corners and rectangles. The Chrystler building's very pretty and complex. I prefer complex.

Richie D said...

1-- Holy Trinity Catholic (Polish Mission)Church in Chicago

2-- The Chicago Board of Trade Building, Jackson Blvd and LaSalle Street in Chicago (especially at night)

3-- any Post Office, courthouse or school, built in the 1930s by President Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration (WPA) that has paintings in the style of Thomas Hart Benton

justkim said...

Ooh. Fun topic! Favorite buildings include the Chrysler Building, the Library of Congress, the Capitol, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, St. Patrick's Cathedral, the National Cathedral. I'm sure I could think of more.

Richie D said...

Yes, the Library of Congress. My goal is to one day get a pass and do some serious reading in the Main Reading Room.

Jennifer said...

It seems the list is actually called America's Favorite Architecture, so I suppose the bridges and memorials and arches do fit in. Although, I've always considered bridges to be engineering rather than architecture.

I'm surprised how many of those uh...architectures I've actually been to.

Richard Dolan said...

It making these picks, many seem to be reacting to the buildings (or the public space, if Maya Lin's Vietman memorial is included) as oversized sculptures, cultural markers or iconic statements rather than architecture. The list would look quite different if people tried to apply traditional architectural standards in making the picks -- how well and appropriately a building's formal elements communicate its function and place in its community, how successfully it services the needs for which it was built, how user-friendly it is for residents or occupants, how it relates to its setting and the rest of the streetscape, etc.

Whenever I look at the ESB, for example, I can picture an old album cover that used its dirigible tower as the symbol for the New World Symphony. But from those who work there, I'm told its not such a great place to spend one's time. Iconic, yes; one of the great building, more doubtful. And despite RLCohen's list of cliched words to be avoided (featured by Ann a few days ago), "iconic" fits here.

AJ Lynch said...

Tthere is a old and miniature castle on the beach of Lake Tahoe. It's kinda cool. You can find it - just google Lake Tahoe Castle- it will be the 2nd or 3rd or 4th link.

Freder Frederson said...

Oh, come on, Carnegie Hall 41 and the Auditorium Theater 147? At the very least they should switch places. And the Auditorium Theater should be in the top 10. That Sullivan doesn't even appear until 145 is criminal.

LetMeSpellItOutForYou said...

I'll stay close to home. Three buildings in NYC, two of which used to the world's tallest: the Chrysler, the Woolworth, and the Flatiron.

Ross said...

No. 19 does not exist anymore. World Trade Center. And there are 19 comments as I write.

Rusty said...

"One of my favorite buildings made the list - the chapel at the Air Force Academy."

It is said that the 17 spires of the Academy chapel represent the twelve Apostles and the Joint Chiefs of staff.

Annie said...

I hate it when that happens.

- amba

Annie said...

(The sad Google search, that is.)

Susan said...

The Delano and Fontainebeau hotels on Miami Beach are listed, but far better are the whole cluster of small earlier Art Deco hotels there.

LoafingOaf said...

I myself love Gehry's buldings and count myself very fortunate to work in Clevleand next door to his Peter B. Lewis building (housing Case Western Reserve's Weatherhead School of Business).

I'm glad dreary old Cleveland has a conversation piece, but I don't love it myself.

Did they have to stick on Lewis' name in such gigantic letters?

There's a few spots where from a far distance it looks kinda righteous. Don't you think it's crammed away in an odd place?

Does ice still fall on people's heads?

My fave building is Jacob's Field. A finer place to watch The Tribe I cannot imagine. Every time I'm in it I think, "Dammit, Cleveland, you did it up right for once in your friggin' lives!" When i'm driving by I hope the light is red so I can admire it some more. :)

The modern architect who has made the nicest stamp on my city (and many cities) is Cesar Pelli. People seem to love his buildings, rather than scratching their heads.

One token Gehry is more than enough for any city, but I'd like whole blocks designed by Pelli. He's been doing that at The Cleveland Clinic. My fave is the Crile Building, which is on his web site. That one is extra gorgeous in shape and every detail, particularly its rosy shade of granite.

I also admire his skyscrapers. On 9/11 I made note of his buildings around Ground Zero because they reminded me a little of the Key Tower here, which is much nicer than the other skyscrapers people have suck us with in recent decades. And his twin towers in Malaysia are much cooler than New York's were.

Elizabeth said...

There's no grandeur about it, but Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop in the French Quarter gives me great comfort. It was built in 1772, survived two fires in the following two decades that destroyed most of the buildings in the Quarter, and 200 years later, didn't lose so much as a shingle during Katrina. It's dank, dark and small, and it endures.