You don’t have to be an architect or a history buff to appreciate the beauty of America’s cities. You just have to be capable of looking up and admiring the beauty. Most places have a certain look that makes them distinctive, maybe it arises from practicality or perhaps it’s simply a reflection of style. So if you’re looking for some design inspiration, below are 5 of our favorite destinations to take in jaw-dropping architecture.
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. 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.
The ornate details on the skinny townhouses and antebellum mansions in this area are heightened by the existence of the moss, lending a natural exclamation point to their otherwise man-made beauty. Walk along the cobblestone streets in the city’s Historic District to see what we mean, especially since more than 20 blocks help create a setting of eye-catching properties and surrounding verdant parks.
Real estate in Pittsburgh offers amazing architectural homes of stylish contemporary buildings, as well as buildings which date back to the 18th century. Fort Pitt Blockhouse, one of the many brilliant structures in the city, is the oldest of Pittsburgh’s buildings and an outstanding landmark.
Chicago is world-renowned for its architecture, and the most stunning way to see much of it is by floating the Chicago River on a 90-minute guided river cruise. Operated by the Chicago Architecture Foundation, the tour offers information from documents on more than 50 buildings of note and costs about $50 per ticket. In short, there’s no better way to see it all in one fell swoop.
Charleston is a city that takes its historic preservation very seriously. The expansive collection of historic homes includes architectural styles of the Classic Georgian, Federal, Adamesque, Greek Revival, Italianate, and Victorian eras. Not only has Charleston been nicknamed the “Holy City” for all of its steepled churches, but it also maintains a ton of well-preserved Civil War sites and rocks Rainbow Row, an aptly named line of pastel-colored, 18th-century Georgian townhouses. Basically, if you’re an American history or preservationist nerd, Charleston is your jam.