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Old 10-02-2018, 08:51 PM
 
9,396 posts, read 9,557,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTinPhilly View Post
In addition to the obvious ones listed by the OP, I think any reasonably well-travelled/well-read American should be able to match the following cities with their most famous landmark:

1. Independence Hall (Philadelphia)
2. Gateway Arch (Saint Louis)
3. The Alamo (San Antonio)
4. Space Needle (Seattle)
5. St. Louis Cathedral/Jackson Sq. (New Orleans)
6. Churchill Downs (Louisville)
7. The Washington Monument (District of Columbia)
8. Faneuil Hall (Boston)
9. Fremont St./Golden Nugget Casino at night (Las Vegas)
10. LDS Temple (Salt Lake City)
I think the top 3 are the only ones everyone would recognize.

Also Fenway Park should probably be there.
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Old 10-02-2018, 09:16 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
2,481 posts, read 2,230,341 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
The St. Louis Arch is a possible, but I just don't have as much faith in the average American's sense of geography.
I don't doubt that many Americans are geographically challenged, but I'll be honest, I'm from the region and I have never met a single person who didn't know that St. Louis is known for the Arch. I've taken plenty of vacations out of the region, and it's typically one of the few things people do know about the city besides the Cardinals. Ferguson added a new thing to know for non-locals, but I've frankly run into more people who haven't put two and two together that Ferguson is a St. Louis suburb than people who don't realize that St. Louis has the Arch.

I'm sure half a century of being plastered on every St. Louis home sports game helped immensely. Maybe it's the homer in me though
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:00 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,609 posts, read 3,684,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennifat View Post
US landmarks that almost every American is going to recognize:
  • Space Needle
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Hollywood Sign
  • Gateway Arch
  • Mount Rushmore
  • Spaceship Earth at Epcot / Magic Kingdom castle (Disney World)
  • Statue of Liberty
  • White House
  • US Capitol
  • Liberty Bell/Independence Hall
  • Niagara Falls
  • Welcome to Las Vegas sign
  • Grand Canyon
Some of those are a stretch. Spaceship Earth maybe not. Liberty Bell probably not placed properly. People might know what they are but not where.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTinPhilly View Post
In addition to the obvious ones listed by the OP, I think any reasonably well-travelled/well-read American should be able to match the following cities with their most famous landmark:

1. Independence Hall (Philadelphia)
2. Gateway Arch (Saint Louis)
3. The Alamo (San Antonio)
4. Space Needle (Seattle)
5. St. Louis Cathedral/Jackson Sq. (New Orleans)
6. Churchill Downs (Louisville)
7. The Washington Monument (District of Columbia)
8. Faneuil Hall (Boston)
9. Fremont St./Golden Nugget Casino at night (Las Vegas)
10. LDS Temple (Salt Lake City)
Aren't there other Space Needle (like) towers now in different cities? That could confuse people.
Churchill Downs might be recognized by horse racing enthusiasts but not many others. Faneuil Hall must be an East Coast thing but not familiar elsewhere. Fremont Street only if you have been there. The LDS Temple could be confused with the St. Louis Cathedral unless you have been to both places. If one has to visit a place to recognize the landmark it isn't all that remarkable. Numbers 2, 3, and 7 would fit. Independence Hall is possible but maybe not the location. I'm always amazed at how many people do not travel or at least do not stray from some well worn point to point trip.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:32 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
1,231 posts, read 512,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
I think the top 3 are the only ones everyone would recognize.

Also Fenway Park should probably be there.
I personally don’t think most people would get independence hall unless you show it in conjunction with the liberty bell, and then it’s still a toss up if they actually know the name of the building. I do believe most would recognize the bell.

I do think most would get the St Louis Arch. I was gonna do a poll and had it on it.

The Alamo is borderline, I was really on the fence about this one. For much of the country it’s just a small footnote in high school history, the same in lower level college history courses. Too bad the rental car company doesn’t use its image in its logo.

As for Fenway Park no way. It’s probably the most recognizable thing in Boston for most, but many people could care less about sports, baseball in particular. I will say when I thought of Boston it wasn’t the USS Constitution or Faniuel Hall that came to my mind of what most people would know, it was Fenway and the parquet wood floor of the Boston Garden. But then I thought of all the people I know, and have known over the years who have zero interest in pro sports.
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:42 PM
 
311 posts, read 219,003 times
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Cool thread and I think it also depends on individual people and whether they're more attracted to images or information.
I'd consider myself something of a city and landmark buff, but while I know the story of the Alamo, I had to Google search it just now to see how it looked.
The Disney castle is iconic, but my knowledge of it is primarily from the movie logo and not the actual site.
NYC and DC probably have the most identifiable landmarks, and might be the only cities with more than one mega-identifiable location (depending on how one counts)
(NYC: Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Times Square?)
(DC: Washington Monument, Capitol Building)
The only other city I could think of with maybe more than one is Seattle (Space Needle, Mt. Rainier?), though the mountain is actually further from the city than it seems.
I think it also depends on how we're judging recognition. If I scanned some of the famous sites listed here to a random group of people, they would probably go "oh, I know that" to some of them and have the name in the back of their head somewhere. You could make a good case for the Willis Tower on the list but I bet there'd be a lot of people who recognize the building and its general context but couldn't fish out the name. They might be like "oh, that's the tall Chicago jawn" or something to that effect. There's a difference between that and completely not recognizing something or simply recognizing having seen something before but having no idea of said thing's significance or context.
As a side note, I find it interesting that there's seems to be something about tall non-skyscraper structures becoming iconized. The Space Needle, Gateway Arch, and Washington Monument are some of our most identifiable structures.
St. Louis is a cool, historic city but there's no way most people come close to recognizing it without the Arch (for good reason too, its a beautiful structure). I wonder if a skyscraper-sized landmark is something more medium-sized cities could invest in as a representation of their city.
Even in a city like Tokyo, the Sky Tree might be its most recognizable feature.

Last edited by jjv007; 10-02-2018 at 11:51 PM..
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Old 10-03-2018, 12:04 AM
 
311 posts, read 219,003 times
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This thread made me realize that there's a whole lot of cities which don't have something visually iconic to the extent of casual recognition.
Living in Philly, I'd say there's the Bell/Independence Hall, but major cities like Boston, Miami, Houston, Atlanta, Detroit, etc. don't really have anything per se. Even LA only really has the Hollywood Sign.
Obviously, all these cities have landmarks that a large chunk of people would identify, but not really something that would stand out per the OP's definition.
I do think if we made the guidelines slightly less rigorous, more cities would definitely come into the mix.
In Philly, the LOVE statue or Art Museum/Rocky Steps/Statue might make the cut if the regulations were laxed a bit.
The OP does make a good point though that sometimes certain spots aren't as recognizable as we think they are. Everybody here talks about City Hall, but I'm not sure many people would recognize that straight up in other parts of the country.
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Old 10-03-2018, 01:01 AM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
1,231 posts, read 512,204 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjv007 View Post
This thread made me realize that there's a whole lot of cities which don't have something visually iconic to the extent of casual recognition.
Living in Philly, I'd say there's the Bell/Independence Hall, but major cities like Boston, Miami, Houston, Atlanta, Detroit, etc. don't really have anything per se. Even LA only really has the Hollywood Sign.
Obviously, all these cities have landmarks that a large chunk of people would identify, but not really something that would stand out per the OP's definition.
I do think if we made the guidelines slightly less rigorous, more cities would definitely come into the mix.
In Philly, the LOVE statue or Art Museum/Rocky Steps/Statue might make the cut if the regulations were laxed a bit.
The OP does make a good point though that sometimes certain spots aren't as recognizable as we think they are. Everybody here talks about City Hall, but I'm not sure many people would recognize that straight up in other parts of the country.
Honestly the Rocky statue is probably better known than most things in your city, maybe second to the liberty bell. I do think many American would get it, but not a majority. Although my wife knows of Rocky obviously, I canít get her to ever watch one with me no matter how hard I try. She never has, and never will have any desire to see one. Sheís a millennial, and Iím sure not alone in that demographic if she had to pick out the Rocky statue. Keep in mind that while itís been rebooted, the original franchise ended nearly 30 years ago. Thatís a whole generation.

As for LA you could easily add the Hollywood walk of fame to the list, I think everyone would recognize the stars on the sidewalk. But yeah, most cities donít have one, it doesnít make them any less of a city.

The point of the thread isnít to make the guidelines less rigorous so more cities can join in the party, itís to see what people really think.

I find it interesting that someone mentioned that 30% of the people surveyed didnít know the Grand Canyon was in Arizona, thatís mind blowing. But then again should I really be shocked?

Another poster said any well traveled/well read American would pick out..... Thatís rich. I donít see most Americans that way when Iíve traveled. Very nice people throughout this whole country, but I get the impression many never leave their comfort zone, and sadly being well read is becoming a thing of the past. This definitely doesnít fit the bill of most Americans.

I am pleased with the early responses so far. Thereís been a few I didnít think of when I was racking my brain. Cinderellaís castle being the obvious one.
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Old 10-03-2018, 03:48 AM
 
Location: Miss Jankins (Say nothing bad).
1,236 posts, read 1,429,082 times
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Give me this weekend to find pictures of some of the landmarks mentioned here. I'll conduct my own at my place of work: Emory University Hospital. I'm rather curious.
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
8,569 posts, read 12,685,046 times
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I think the following would be recognizable for most Americans:

Statue of Liberty
White House
Washington Monument
Hollywood Sign
Times Square
Golden Gate Bridge
Niagara Falls
Empire State Building
US Capitol Building
Grand Canyon (may not know the state it's in)
Disney Castle (may not know if it's the California or Florida one)
Mount Rushmore (won't necessarily know where it is)

I think at least half would know the following:

St. Louis Arch (I think this is unique looking enough that it may be higher)
Space Needle
Liberty Bell
Independence Hall (although people might misplace it in Boston or NY)
Old Faithful
Las Vegas Strip
Arlington Cemetery (I think most would guess that if shown a picture)

I'm not confident in more than half of the US recognizing the following (unless they have visited):

Fanueil Hall
Alamo
Sears/Willis Tower
Navy Pier
Church in New Orleans Square
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Old 10-04-2018, 12:40 AM
 
105 posts, read 38,771 times
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I'm not sure that most Americans could name Chicago's most iconic towers, but I think most Americans could identify the Chicago skyline as a whole, as it is massive and unrivaled in this country sans NYC.
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