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There is no shortage of iconic buildings across the U.S. The status of iconic building can be very subjective; however, some buildings reach iconic status without dispute.

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In 2017, Curbed put together a list of 14 iconic buildings across the country chosen by Curbed editors. Each of the 14 editors picked one structure that represents their cities. The limitation of selection criteria means many more iconic buildings were left off the list.

According to Curbed editors, their top 14 iconic U.S. buildings were:

  • Texas State Capitol Building in Austin
  • Chrysler Building in NYC
  • John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston
  • Fisher Building in Detroit
  • Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles
  • Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco
  • Independence Hall in Philadelphia
  • James R. Thompson Center in Chicago
  • Central Library in Seattle
  • Metro Center in Washington D.C.
  • The Fontainebleau in Miami
  • St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans
  • Montauk Lighthouse in the Hamptons
  • The Flatiron Building in Atlanta

As a non-resident of these cities, I wasn’t familiar with many of these structures. However, for the cities I have visited such as NYC and Chicago, I’ll have to admit these weren’t the first buildings that came to mind when I thought about iconic buildings in those cities. But for many of these cities with so many iconic buildings to chose from, it must be hard to narrow it down.

As a resident of Wisconsin, I would probably say the Milwaukee Art Museum is one of the state’s most iconic buildings — but I’m no architectural expert in my state! And as a frequent visitor to Chicago, I would have said the John Hancock building would be the most iconic. When I think of Chicago that is usually the first building I picture in my head.

And in New York, the Empire State Building could possibly be a more iconic building in some people’s minds. In fact, it has made a few lists for the top most iconic buildings in the world.

But I’m sure the Curbed editors had solid, more educated reasons for their choices compared to mine.

What are your thoughts? What would you say is the most iconic building in your city or your state? What iconic buildings from the cities on this list do you think were left out? Do you agree with Curbed’s list?

Share your thoughts and comments with We’d love to compile a list of our own based on your suggestions!

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