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United States Urban Issues Discussions and pictures of highrises, urbanity, architecture and the built environment of US cities



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Old September 26th, 2010, 08:42 PM   #1
Dariusb
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What's your favorite North American skyline?

Mine are:

1. Toronto
2. Chicago
3. New York City
4. Vancouver, BC
5. Houston
6. Seattle
7. Miami
8. San Francisco
9. Honolulu
10. Minneapolis/St. Paul
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Old September 27th, 2010, 06:51 AM   #2
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1. New York
2. Chicago
3. Toronto
4. Seattle
5. Vancouver, BC
6. San Fransisco
7. Philadelphia
8. Calgary
9. Montreal
10. Minneapolis
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Old September 27th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #3
diablo234
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1. New York
2. Chicago
3. Toronto
4. Houston
5. Miami
6. San Francisco
7. Philadelphia
8. Atlanta
9. Minneapolis
10. Detroit
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Old September 27th, 2010, 08:20 PM   #4
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^All good lists. Though perhaps I'd replace Honolulu with Philadelphia on the first list, like the others have done.

When I talk about my list, please keep in mind that this question is essentially about skyscrapers, simply because that building form is the one that forms a "skyline." I'm not addressing "street life" or "livability," because the original question deals with skyscraper aesthetics only!

What I like about some of these cities....in no particular order...

New York - What can I say? So many first-rate buildings that I could never add to what has already been said. The premier and iconic skyline of North America.

Chicago - Ditto. The City with Broad Shoulders has some of the best architecture on the continent. Better than New York in quality IMHO, but lesser in the sheer number of high rises.

Toronto - Actually a bit of a surprise. I've always had some reservations about the quality of the skyline (keep in mind that I mean quality of architecture and not necessarily height or number of buildings!). I guess I still do. If you take away the CN tower, I doubt many people could ever identify the silhouette of the skyline. (Yes, I realize that's true of several other cities as well. See below for another example.) Be that as it may, I still think it's in my Top Ten. Sorry if that sounds like a back-handed compliment. It's a great skyline nonetheless. One of the best.

Houston - Underrated in my opinion. Several great buildings by prominent architects. I think it may suffer from the perception that it is a nothing more than a vertical office park occupied only during the day by thousands of cubicle queens. But it really does have some terrific skyscrapers! Philip Johnson's Williams Tower -even though it's not downtown - is brilliant. IMHO it is 2nd only to Johnson's other work in Minneapolis (see below) as the best modernist skyscraper in America, post Mies van der Rohe.

San Francisco
- While it may be identifiable primarily by the Transamerica Tower and the Golden Gate, it still has a great cluster of buildings in a beautiful setting. The Embarcadero adds to the drama. And San Francisco is a great city to boot. C'mon, I mean how can you not adore this town?? Beautiful setting. Distinctive skyline.

Minneapolis
- Another great skyline. For a metro of just 3 million, and split between two cities (St. Paul being the other of course with its own skyline) Minneapolis has a brilliant skyline by some of the world's best architects (Johnson, Pei, Pelli, Nouvel, KPF, Gehry, SOM, Ellerbe, Birkerts, Yamasaki, etc.). The city lays arguable claim to Philip Johnson's masterpiece - the IDS Center. Overall quite distinctive and very dense.

Seattle - Beautiful setting and some very nice buildings. But frankly, also some dogs. Analogous to Toronto and the CN tower, I sometimes wonder if you eliminated the Space Needle, would anyone have any idea what city is being presented? Again though, it's in my Top Ten in North America. The Columbia Center is spectacular (and one of my favorites). Great density and a beautiful setting on Puget Sound.

Philadelphia
- Wow. I have to say that this city had the balls to re-make itself into another East Coast icon. The new skyscrapers have completely changed the past perception of this city as a bit frumpy and out of date. Beautiful new buildings that (finally!!!) tower over William Penn have launched Philadelphia into a new era. I look forward to seeing adventurous buildings as wonderful as the PSFS building was in it's time.

Atlanta - Another city I have mixed feelings about. Yes, there are several towering structures but I have reservations about their effect on the street life of the city (Yes, this contradicts my assertion at the beginning of this post that I won't address "street life." But Atlanta has real issues with this from what I've seen. So I just have to mention it.) Again, this is just my humble opinion, but I have visited Atlanta several times and I just don't sense a cohesion downtown. And some of the major towers - a lot like Seattle - are major dogs. On the other hand, the towers have given an impressive new look to the city. While I tend to prefer clusters of towers and the accompanying density, Atlanta's towers are spread quite a bit apart. Hence,the aesthetic gives the city the impression of great size. And for that, it ranks among my personal Top Ten.

Vancouver
- I love Vancouver. I've kind of thought of it as similar to Manhattan - at one third the height. A wonderful display of urban planning. Not particularly noteworthy for the architecture. But hey, what a spectacular setting and for the sheer number of high-rises, I can't think of another North American city other than New York or Chicago that can compare. And the fact that most of the high-rises are residential, gives further credence to the Vancouver Miracle...
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Last edited by Avian001; September 27th, 2010 at 08:44 PM.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 08:35 PM   #5
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1. New York
2. Chicago
3. Toronto
4. Houston
5. Miami
6. Dallas
7. Philadelphia
8. Los Angeles
9. Atlanta
10. San Franicsco
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Old September 27th, 2010, 09:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avian001 View Post
^All good lists. Though perhaps I'd replace Honolulu with Philadelphia on the first list, like the others have done.

When I talk about my list, please keep in mind that this question is essentially about skyscrapers, simply because that building form is the one that forms a "skyline." I'm not addressing "street life" or "livability," because the original question deals with skyscraper aesthetics only!

What I like about some of these cities....in no particular order...

New York - What can I say? So many first-rate buildings that I could never add to what has already been said. The premier and iconic skyline of North America.

Chicago - Ditto. The City with Broad Shoulders has some of the best architecture on the continent. Better than New York in quality IMHO, but lesser in the sheer number of high rises.

Toronto - Actually a bit of a surprise. I've always had some reservations about the quality of the skyline (keep in mind that I mean quality of architecture and not necessarily height or number of buildings!). I guess I still do. If you take away the CN tower, I doubt many people could ever identify the silhouette of the skyline. (Yes, I realize that's true of several other cities as well. See below for another example.) Be that as it may, I still think it's in my Top Ten. Sorry if that sounds like a back-handed compliment. It's a great skyline nonetheless. One of the best.

Houston - Underrated in my opinion. Several great buildings by prominent architects. I think it may suffer from the perception that it is a nothing more than a vertical office park occupied only during the day by thousands of cubicle queens. But it really does have some terrific skyscrapers! Philip Johnson's Williams Tower -even though it's not downtown - is brilliant. IMHO it is 2nd only to Johnson's other work in Minneapolis (see below) as the best modernist skyscraper in America, post Mies van der Rohe.

San Francisco
- While it may be identifiable primarily by the Transamerica Tower and the Golden Gate, it still has a great cluster of buildings in a beautiful setting. The Embarcadero adds to the drama. And San Francisco is a great city to boot. C'mon, I mean how can you not adore this town?? Beautiful setting. Distinctive skyline.

Minneapolis
- Another great skyline. For a metro of just 3 million, and split between two cities (St. Paul being the other of course with its own skyline) Minneapolis has a brilliant skyline by some of the world's best architects (Johnson, Pei, Pelli, Nouvel, KPF, Gehry, SOM, Ellerbe, Birkerts, Yamasaki, etc.). The city lays arguable claim to Philip Johnson's masterpiece - the IDS Center. Overall quite distinctive and very dense.

Seattle - Beautiful setting and some very nice buildings. But frankly, also some dogs. Analogous to Toronto and the CN tower, I sometimes wonder if you eliminated the Space Needle, would anyone have any idea what city is being presented? Again though, it's in my Top Ten in North America. The Columbia Center is spectacular (and one of my favorites). Great density and a beautiful setting on Puget Sound.

Philadelphia
- Wow. I have to say that this city had the balls to re-make itself into another East Coast icon. The new skyscrapers have completely changed the past perception of this city as a bit frumpy and out of date. Beautiful new buildings that (finally!!!) tower over William Penn have launched Philadelphia into a new era. I look forward to seeing adventurous buildings as wonderful as the PSFS building was in it's time.

Atlanta - Another city I have mixed feelings about. Yes, there are several towering structures but I have reservations about their effect on the street life of the city (Yes, this contradicts my assertion at the beginning of this post that I won't address "street life." But Atlanta has real issues with this from what I've seen. So I just have to mention it.) Again, this is just my humble opinion, but I have visited Atlanta several times and I just don't sense a cohesion downtown. And some of the major towers - a lot like Seattle - are major dogs. On the other hand, the towers have given an impressive new look to the city. While I tend to prefer clusters of towers and the accompanying density, Atlanta's towers are spread quite a bit apart. Hence,the aesthetic gives the city the impression of great size. And for that, it ranks among my personal Top Ten.

Vancouver
- I love Vancouver. I've kind of thought of it as similar to Manhattan - at one third the height. A wonderful display of urban planning. Not particularly noteworthy for the architecture. But hey, what a spectacular setting and for the sheer number of high-rises, I can't think of another North American city other than New York or Chicago that can compare. And the fact that most of the high-rises are residential, gives further credence to the Vancouver Miracle...
Wow. Everyone had pretty much the same list give or take a couple cities. Avian I loved how you added your opinion of each cities skyline.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 12:41 AM   #7
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1-New York
2-Chicago
3-San Francisco
4-Panama City
5-Boston
6-Toronto
7-Honolulu
8-Seattle
9-Los Angeles
10-Miami
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Old September 28th, 2010, 01:23 AM   #8
desertpunk
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Dear God, how many of these threads do we need? Here's one with pretty pictures:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=443596

Vote early and often!
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Old September 28th, 2010, 01:30 AM   #9
Dallas boi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post
1-New York
2-Chicago
3-San Francisco
4-Panama City
5-Boston
6-Toronto
7-Honolulu
8-Seattle
9-Los Angeles
10-Miami
Honolulu isn't in North America.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 05:31 AM   #10
Dariusb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertpunk View Post
Dear God, how many of these threads do we need? Here's one with pretty pictures:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=443596

Vote early and often!
Well I don't come here enough to know how many of "these kinds of threads" are posted. Anyway, thanks for the link. Some really nice pics in there.

Last edited by Dariusb; September 28th, 2010 at 08:20 PM.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 05:35 AM   #11
Dariusb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas boi View Post
Honolulu isn't in North America.
How do you figure that it's not.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 05:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dariusb View Post
How do you figure that it's not.
Umm, Pacific ocean anyone?
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Old September 28th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #13
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1. New York City
2. Chicago
3. Toronto
4. Seattle
5. San Francisco
6. Miami
7. San Diego
8. Philadelphia
9. Los Angeles
10. Vancouver
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Old September 28th, 2010, 07:39 PM   #14
Dariusb
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teslatron View Post
Umm, Pacific ocean anyone?
I know it's in the Pacific Ocean smart a$$ but I thought since it's an American state it's considered part of the North American continent.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 07:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas boi View Post
Honolulu isn't in North America.
politically it is,but geographically it isnt so you my friend are correct! http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/c...ica/namera.htm
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Old September 28th, 2010, 07:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dariusb View Post
I know it's in the Pacific Ocean smart a$$ but I thought since it's an American state it's considered part of the North American continent.
Well thats what I thought,and your not wrong either but I was always taught that it was part of N.A. and all Maps show it is! http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/c...ica/namera.htm This link says it is politically tied into N.A. but geographically it isnt part of any Continent! Weird huh?
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Old September 28th, 2010, 08:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmoor82 View Post
Well thats what I thought,and your not wrong either but I was always taught that it was part of N.A. and all Maps show it is! http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/c...ica/namera.htm This link says it is politically tied into N.A. but geographically it isnt part of any Continent! Weird huh?
Thanks for the info Dmoor.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 09:33 PM   #18
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http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=912878

Dup?

For what it's worth.

1. Chicago (skyline perfection, blanaced)
2. NYC (holy shit factor!)
3. Toronto (Almost as impressive as these two, but lacks specific architectural gems to make it really stand out)
4. SF
5. Vancouver
6. Seattle
7. Philly

8-the rest. Can't decide, the rest are all equally boring and mundane
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Old September 29th, 2010, 05:27 AM   #19
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I can't believe no one has put Pittsburgh on their list.

Anyway, I don't claim this is one of the best by any means, but shameless plug for my homie:
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Old September 29th, 2010, 09:25 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by STLgasm View Post
I can't believe no one has put Pittsburgh on their list.
[/img]
normally i would include Pittsburgh in my list but when u add the Canadian cities its hard to fit it in :S its prob in a tie for 9 or 10 for me.
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