26 October 2009
America's Next Top Buildings
How would you pick American's favorite works of architecture? The American Institute of Architects and a polling firm interviewed architects and a random sampling of the general public, to come up with a list of 150 all-time faves, including the White House, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Fenway Park.
So what was America's favorite work of architecture? Hint: King Kong and Fay Wray spent some time together there.
Most of the 150 buildings are big, public structures, which makes sense, and modern architecture is well represented, although modern houses are not. Fallingwater and Taliesin are 29 and 30 on the list (Frank Lloyd Wright was the architect with the most buildings, eight), and Pierre Koenig's Stahl House (Case Study House #22, above) is there as well, but the Farnsworth House, the Gropius House and the Glass House are nowhere to be found (that must have really bugged the Glass House folks in New Canaan.
The America's Favorite Architecture website is easy to use and has great pictures and useful information. Because I like to keep score, I counted up which architects are named most often. After Wright, there's Henry Hobson Richardson, with six massive granite structures, mainly near Boston, from the late 1800s; Richard Meier, with five; Philip Johnson, with four; and Eero Saarinan and Cass Gilbert, with three each.
The only women on the list, as far as I could tell, were Maya Lin (for her Vietnam Veterans Memorial) and Julia Morgan, who had two, including Hearst's San Simeon.
The website's here. They've asking for people to vote on the five favorites from the list. And thanks to the folks at the Jay Heritage Center in Rye, for pointing this out via Twitter. – TA