King Kong Would Recognize America’s Favorite Building
The Empire State Building in New York City tops the list as America's favorite building, according to a poll by the American Institute of Architects. King Kong would be proud.
The Empire State Building and the White House top the list of America’s Favorite Architecture in a poll by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) asking members of the general public how much they liked 248 pre-selected structures around the country.
Famous homes, public buildings, sports arenas, transportation hubs and office buildings were among the structures on the list of candidates.
Seventeen of the projects ranked on a final list of 150 favorite buildings are located in Washington, D.C., and include the U.S. Supreme Court (15th) and the Library of Congress (28th).
Washington’s public buildings and memorials dominated the top 10 list, but New York City easily led the list for the sheer number of its structures in the top 150.
Chicago is well represented with 16, including Wrigley Field (31st), the Sears Tower (42nd), the Tribune Tower (38th) and the Field Museum (52nd).
The list presents a broad swath of architectural styles from diverse periods of American history. Buildings and structures represent where Americans live, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (29th) in Pennsylvania; where they vacation, such as the Hotel Del Coronado (18th) in San Diego; and where they escape to have fun, such as Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yard (122nd) and the Ingalls Ice Arena (149th) at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
Transportation hubs and structures on the list of favorites include The Golden Gate (fifth) and Brooklyn (20th) bridges, as well as many main rail stations, including Cincinnati Union Terminal (44th), Union Station in St. Louis (40th) and Union Station in Kansas City (127th).
Following are the top 10 buildings and their architects:
- Empire State Building — Shreve, Lamb & Harmon
- The White House — James Hoban
- Washington National Cathedral — George Bodley
- Jefferson Memorial — John Russell Pope
- Golden Gate Bridge — Joseph B. Strauss
- U.S. Capitol — William Thornton
- Lincoln Memorial — Henry Bacon
- Biltmore Estate/Vanderbilt Mansion — Richard Morris Hunt
- Chrysler Building — William Van Alen
- Vietnam Veterans Memorial — Maya Lin
The survey was conducted in conjunction with the AIA’s commemoration of its 150th anniversary this year. Harris Interactive did the polling.