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4 Structures that Etched their Names into Architecture History
September 2, 2021 at 6:30 PM
by Sidhanth Thomas
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Throughout the different stages of American History, scores of structures, buildings, and edifices were created that now stand as icons, a testament to the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears used to build these very icons, forever embedded in the chronicles of history. Standing the test of time, these five structures have also been voted as some of America’s favorite Architecture, being consistently visited by millions of citizens and tourists alike. From the Neoclassical Government Buildings built in the late 18th Century to beautiful Art Deco New York, the Architectural styles that have come to define American architecture is as eclectic as it is numerous.

In this article, we’ll explore some of America’s most beloved structures, some that go as far back as when the nation was founded and institutions of political and national continuity were being established. These are also some of America’s most popular buildings attracting visitors for everything from being awe-inspiring structures to being so intertwined with the zeitgeist and political history of the country. Join us in cherishing some of America’s greatest structures.

4 Structures that Etched their Names into American History

1. Empire State Building

2. United States Capitol

3. The Golden Gate Bridge

4. Grand Central Terminal

1. Empire State Building

The Empire State Building, a quintessential example of Art Deco architecture in the heart of New York has weaved itself into the consciousness of New York City and the rest of the United States. The cultural icon was designed by Shreve, Lamb, and Harmon, being built in 1931. Towering above the city, it reigned as the tallest building in the world for 39 years. Named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, its name is derived from “Empire State,” a sobriquet for the State of New York.

The Building sees around 4 million visitors annually from all around the world, bustling to visit its various observatories and witness its Art Deco architecture. It has been featured in more than 200 movies and TV shows, including being prominently featured in Jay-Z’s iconic, Empire State of Mind. Being an American cultural icon, the structure is quintessentially ever-prominent among New York City’s evolving skyline.

2. United States Capitol

Home to the bicameral legislature of the United States, housing the House of Representatives in the South Wing and the Senate in the North Wing, the United States Capitol is an iconic structure built in 1800 in the neo-classical style similar to most buildings of the executive and judiciary. Being the seat of the Legislative branch of the United States Government, it was, since its origins meant to be intertwined with the political destiny of the country. It is located on Capitol Hill, at the eastern end of the National Mall. Being burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored, the building has stood the test of time and now also stands host to 3-5 million annual visitors from all around the globe.

3. The Golden Gate Bridge

Built in the Art Deco style and opened in 1937, it was the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world. The bridge links the US city of San Fransico, California with Marin Country, also catering to bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Initially being engineered by Joseph Strauss in 1917, the Golden Gate Bridge was declared as one of the Wonders of the Modern World, being recognized all over the world as a symbol of San Fransisco and California.

Although the Bridge faced opposition during its conception, Strauss spent more than ten years gathering support to bring the colossal project to actualization. The project did also have other collaborators whose work cannot be ignored as they contributed massively to the project. Collaborators such as Irving Morrow, Leon Moisseiff, and Charles Alton Ellis. In what must have been a sight to see, the day before the bridge opened to vehicular traffic, over 200,000 people crossed on foot or by roller skates.

4. Grand Central Terminal

Built in 1913, in the visually stunning Beaux-Arts Architectural style, the Grand Central Terminal has earned for itself several landmark designations for its unique architecture and interior design. The Grand Central Terminal is also one of the world’s 10 most visited tourist attractions, with over 21 million visitors in 2018. The Terminal itself, located in New York City, maintains a connection to the New York City Subway system and is the second busiest train station in the United States.

The structure also houses multiple commercial establishments and has prominently featured in films and television and primarily serves the New York Central Railroad. With a record-breaking 44 platforms, the Terminal contains more platforms than any other railroad station in the world. Looking towards the future, the East Side Acess Project will bring the Long Island Railroad to the Terminal in 2022.

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