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Readers Respond: What's the best American city for exploring architecture?

Responses: 14


Every city has its architectural wonders, from historic monuments to soaring new skyscrapers. Out of all the cities in the United States, which has the most to explore? What works of architecture make your favorite city special? Why we should go there?

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

There are precious few cities in this country where one can walk an entire day enjoying block after block of architecturally relevant buildings – be it of historic or design relevance . Three come to mind, two of them are on this list, but Philadelphia (the third) is not. Neither of the other two cities have well preserved street-scapes from the 20th, 19th, and 18th centuries, but Philadelphia does. Architecture in Philadelphia is not just about the beauty of the Frank Furness library at U of Penn or the Academy for the Arts, and neither is it the monumental-impression of city hall along with the Baroque grand manner of the parkway. The city has its masterpieces. Rather it's more about how the modern scales with the historic in Northern Liberties, and why a walk along Delancy in Society Hill (brick) or in Rittenhouse (brown stone), is so darn lovely.
—Guest Tom

Viva Las Vegas

Specifically, "The Strip." It has the most diverse group of buildings in a 4.2 mile stretch of road of possibly anywhere in the world. There is the Venetian which is a distortation of the architecture of Venice. All of the theme hotels next to the ultra modern City Center. Then there is the one of a kind "glitter gulch." Then there are buildings like the Bellagio, the Wynn, the Palazzo, and Treasure Island the are designed to mask that they are 40+ story buildings by cleverly designed windows. I think that Las Vegas has some of the most interesting architecture in the world.
—Guest Wes Cook

Providence, RI

Have you ever been to Providence, my fellow minions?
—Guest Millcatedral


Next to Chicago, Buffalo has the best architecture in the US, hands down. Buffalo used to be per capita the wealthiest city not only in the US, but the world. That allowed the best architects and designers to build incredible buildings and infrastructure for decades in Buffalo. People who visit Buffalo are always surprised.
—Guest Peter


Hands down it's Chicago. The most architecturally significant city in the USA
—Guest Sandra

Seattle, of course!

Seattle, Washington, for its Seatttle Needle with revolving restaurant high up in the air (built as a landmark for the 1959 World Fair) and the Experience Music Pavillion (EMP) by Frank Gehry (I have BW pictures of it while it was being erected in 2000-2001) and its endearing vernacular coastal architecture.
—Guest Rey Luminarias

New York City

From Colonial to cutting-edge contemporary design, plus everything in between, New York has it all.
—Guest William Young

Savannah, GA

Has a wonderful array of Architecture all within walking distance between beautiful parks.
—Guest JF

Buffalo will blow you away

There are only two cities in the United States with buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Louis Sullivan and H.H. Richardson and a parks system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted: Chicago and Buffalo. Visit Buffalo, the city The New York Times called "home to some of the greatest American architecture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries." If you're an architecture fan, you will be blown away. Find out more at www.wrightnowinbuffalo.com

Maybe not the best, but a find

Hartford, Connecticut has a surprising range of 4 centuries of architecture (if you count tombstones). Just a walk on Main Street starting at the Butler McCook Historical house (all original items inside, preserved and documented by the last McCook). From the 19th century State House to insurance company and department store architecture to some awful examples of how not to create a plaza that is welcoming, a few blocks say a million words.
—Guest rosemary


I think that Chicago is tops! We took the architectural tour and were amazed at the beauty that we saw outside and inside of the old buildings, plus the new beautiful waterfront.
—Guest carol Maharry

San Francisco

A great place to visit for Victorian detailing found in many neighborhoods and the paint palettes that are used to dramatize those details.
—Guest Barry Samet

Best American City for Architecture

Colombus, Indiana. No where else in the world can you experience so many award-winning architects in such close proximity. A town of only 40,000 people, it boasts the work of I.M. Pei, Eero Saarinen, Eliel Saarinen, Richard Meier, Robert A M Stern, Gwathmey Siegel, Cesar Pelli, and many more. It is a small-town architectural mecca -- the only one of its kind in America.
—Guest Sheri Fahy

Check Out Madison, WI

Madson has many wonderful buildings, including 9 Wright homes and commercial structures, plus buildings by Sullivan, Maher, Claude & Starck, plus modern structures by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, all on a mile wide isthmus.
—Guest Sheridan Glen

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