There is so much beautiful architecture and design in America. I always wondered what is the most beautiful edifice. After the recent tour we did of the White House I’m not surprised its ranked #2 on the list of Americas Favorite Architecture.
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The 1,250 foot, 102 stories, art-deco sky scraper is a symbol of potency and vitality representing New York City. The building’s name is derived from New York’s nickname “The Empire State”. The building, which was completed in 1931, was designed in just two weeks by the architectural firm Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. The building plan was based off the simple design of a pencil. From start to finish the construction of the tallest building in the world (at the time) took just 410 days. The Empire State Building held the title of “Tallest Building in the World” for 40 years until the completion of The World Trade Centers. It was also famous for being the first building ever to have more than 100 floors. It has 6,500 windows, 73 elevators and 1,860 steps. Housing 1,000 businesses and about 21,000 employees the Empire State Building is the second largest office complex in America and even has its own zip code.
The White House has been the official home of The President of the United States since John Adams, the second US president, took up occupancy there in November 1800. The original architect for the white house, James Hoban, was chosen in a design competition which received a handful of proposals including one from Thomas Jefferson. Since its initial inception the White House has been continuously expanded and enhanced. It currently has 6 floors- the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement. The building design was verified as being largely influenced by the Leinster House in Dublin, Ireland. The erection of the White House took over 8 years with a reported cost of $2.8 million dollars. The mansion includes Palladian, Neoclassical, French and Modern architecture.
The Washington National Cathedral is the 6th largest cathedral in the world. The cathedral has a congregation of 800 with almost 400,000 visitors a year. Construction commenced in 1907 when the foundation stone was laid in the presence of President Teddy Roosevelt. It was completed 83 years later, in 1990, in the presence of President George H.W. Bush. Frederick Bodley, the leading Anglican Church Architect of England, was the lead architect for the neo-gothic structure. It was from this famous landmark that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his final sermon.
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial was built as a dedication to President Thomas Jefferson, third president of the USA. It was dedicated by President Roosevelt, an admirer of the founding father, on Jefferson’s 200th birthday. The cornerstone of the neo-classical structure was laid in 1939 by Roosevelt and the final touch, the 10,000 pound bronze statue of Jefferson, was installed in 1947. The interior walls of the monument are inscribed with Jefferson’s famous quotes, most notably: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” A sentence from a letter Jefferson wrote defending the constitutional refusal to accept state religion.
The Golden Gate Bridge was bestowed the title of “Most Photographed Bridge in the World” by Frommers Travel Guide and one of the Modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. When built in 1937 it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Joseph Strauss was the lead engineer in charge of the bridge project. He was the one who submitted the original design and rallied for support across California for the bridge. Erving Morrow was in charge of the Art-Deco elements, like the streetlights, walkways and railings. The vibrant color was chosen by the locals. The Golden Gate Bridge is infamous as being the most popular place in the world to commit suicide.
Whats your favorite, architecturally notable, structure?