Vote for Your Favorite American Architecture
The American Institute of Architects is celebrating its 150th anniversary by highlighting some of its best work. Among other initiatives, it's teamed with Google to invite Americans to vote for their favorite buildings. I liked the touch of adding New York's Penn Station, the only structure no longer in existence. In fact, its destruction helped give birth to the modern architectural preservation movement. My vote for the five favorite pieces of American architecture? I chose the Empire State Building, the Flatiron Building, the Lincoln Memorial, New York's Public Library (not for the exterior, but for the exquisite reading room, one of the truly great interiors in America) and Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, Fallingwater. There were only two Ohio structures on the list, both in Cincinnati (the Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium and the old train station, the Union Terminal). I'm biased, of course, but I don't think AIA did their homework in this state. Leaving out either Cleveland's Terminal Tower (once the second-tallest building in the world) or the Old Arcade (financed by John D. Rockefeller, patterned after an arcade in Milan, and still widely considered a unique architectural gem) would seem like an oversight. Omitting both is, well, absurd.