Tuesday, February 13, 2007

AIA's 150

Those are you that are architecture groupies* already heard that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently announced the results of its "America's Favorite Architecture" poll. Two structures of local significance made the list: Frank Lloyd Wright's Kaufmann residence in Bear Run, PA, commonly known as "Fallingwater" came in at 29 and Henry Hobson Richardson's Allegheny County Courthouse came in at 35. Still, while I appreciate being able to experience at an architectural masterpiece on a daily basis (both inside and out), there are dozens of structures in the Western Pennsylvanian region that deserved to be on the list. We did a little research on a couple of buildings that didn't make the list:

The City-County Building

This structure was left off the list, despite its status as an engineering masterpiece, being one of the largest buildings in the country supported by hot air.

The Mellon Arena

Formerly the "Civic Arena," this public sports facility featuring a retractable dome is the oldest such building in the United States dating back to 1961... which is obviously a lie as no one was alive 46 years ago with such dome making technology. The same people perpetuate the lie that the Earth isn't 6,000 years old.

The Gulf Building

The iconic skyscraper of the Pittsburgh skyline, characterized by it's flashing orange and blue lights which indicate the weather was left off the list. You'd figure that the oil companies would have more pull, wouldn't you, I mean, especially over architects.

The Cathedral of Learning

The Cathedral of Learning is the centerpiece of the University of Pittsburgh's campus and the second tallest educational structure in the world. Turns out, Pitt is just overcompensating for being tiny in other areas.**

One Mellon Center

No self respecting architect could ever support a building that looks like a giant penis.

The David L. Lawrence Convention Center

Word on the street is that this edifice, one of the largest LEED certified buildings in the world, was supposed to be nominated, but its paperwork fell through the cracks.


* I followed I. M. Pei during his "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" Tour. I still have the "I Louvre Pei" t-shirt.
** Yeah Nordenberg, we went there.

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