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Old 10-02-2018, 06:34 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
1,229 posts, read 505,896 times
Reputation: 1770

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After reading countless threads about different cities I'm amazed at what people think in their city is recognized by the masses. Honestly what are the odds someone really can pick out Philadelphia's city hall, or Faneuil Hall in Boston? It got me to thinking what really is? I'm talking about something if you were to show a picture of it they'd immediately know what/where it is.


There's a few obvious ones like the Statue of Liberty, The Hollywood Sign, and the Golden Gate Bridge to name a few. Mt. Rushmore for instance everyone knows, but how many know its in South Dakota? I bet you'd get a lot of I don't know, or North Dakota even. While everyone knows The Empire State Building by name, could they pick it out amongst Rockefeller Plaza, or the Chrysler Building even? Times square seems like a given, but I have pictures of myself in Piccadilly Circus in London, where if you remove the double decker bus and black taxicabs, someone might guess Times Square. The White House and Capitol are obvious, but would someone know the Lincoln vs Jefferson Memorial if they don't see Abe sitting on his throne?


I think back to my college days around greater metro Detroit and I cannot think of one anyone could pick out anything unless it said GM, or Motown on it. Chicago, with the exception of the skyline along Lake Michigan I can't think of any. People like to say the "bean", give me break. I'd go with Wrigley field and the Ivy, but many people could care less about sports. While my wife, sister, and mom all probably know the name, I know they couldn't identify it. I think of my hometown of San Diego and nothing. Honestly most cities I've been to, and I've been to most major cities, and I draw blanks.


I've done lots of traveling, and love history. I cannot tell you how many times I've come home and told friends of what I saw to get that blank "yeah" stare. These are college educated, pop culture knowledgeable people too I'm talking about. Many people don't really care about anything outside their city/region, or their personal interests


I know some of this might seem really obvious to most, but most people aren't really into history, geography, traveling, sports, etc. Plus many of our citizens are foreign born, although they probably know more than most, I've seen the history test they have to take to gain citizenship. Many people who think they're the biggest Americans would fail it.


I can go on with examples, but I'd love to get peoples thoughts on this subject, and what they think is truly recognizable.

Last edited by TacoSoup; 10-02-2018 at 07:05 PM..
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Old 10-02-2018, 06:59 PM
 
29,900 posts, read 27,345,109 times
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I think the only truly recognizable existing iconic structures in the U.S. that the masses are able to correctly identify the city in which they are located are the Statue of Liberty, the White House, and obviously the Hollywood sign. I'm somewhat on the fence when it comes to the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol but it would be no more than those.
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:34 PM
 
Location: St. Louis
2,481 posts, read 2,223,791 times
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I'd find it hard to believe that if you showed someone a photo of the Gateway Arch that the person wouldn't realize that they were looking at St. Louis. The monument has had 50+ years to sink into the American psyche at this point, and it's certainly more unique than a specific skyscraper. For example, tourists mix up the John Hancock in Chicago with the Sears Tower quite frequently.

As for Chicago, Navy Pier with a shot of the skyline behind is it probably as iconic as it's going to get. The trouble is that a close up of the pier itself doesn't necessarily scream Chicago, assuming the Navy Pier sign is not included.
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:53 PM
 
145 posts, read 104,082 times
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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)
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Old 10-02-2018, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
1,376 posts, read 1,194,242 times
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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
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
1,376 posts, read 1,194,242 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:

3. The Alamo (San Antonio)
5. St. Louis Cathedral/Jackson Sq. (New Orleans)
6. Churchill Downs (Louisville)
8. Faneuil Hall (Boston)
10. LDS Temple (Salt Lake City)
I disagree about all of these. Most Americans wouldn't be able to tell you what these things are if shown photos.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,079 posts, read 2,113,124 times
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Space Needle
Hollywood sign (duh)
Statue of Liberty
Cinderella's Castle Disneyland/World

Everything else I think you are all too optimistic about.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:33 PM
 
3,212 posts, read 1,546,799 times
Reputation: 2342
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCHP View Post
Space Needle
Hollywood sign (duh)
Statue of Liberty
Cinderella's Castle Disneyland/World

Everything else I think you are all too optimistic about.
I'd replace the Space Needle with the Empire State Building and add the Golden Gate Bridge. The St Louis Arch is also a one of a kind. There are other Golden Gate bridge types .... but with the SF skyline its a given.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:44 PM
 
5,271 posts, read 3,313,639 times
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Grand Canyon, but the funny thing is, I thought I read a while ago maybe 30% or more people in the US had no idea it was in Arizona, they thought it was in Utah or Nevada or Colorado or New Mexico!
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:49 PM
 
29,900 posts, read 27,345,109 times
Reputation: 18439
Quote:
Originally Posted by PerseusVeil View Post
I'd find it hard to believe that if you showed someone a photo of the Gateway Arch that the person wouldn't realize that they were looking at St. Louis. The monument has had 50+ years to sink into the American psyche at this point, and it's certainly more unique than a specific skyscraper. For example, tourists mix up the John Hancock in Chicago with the Sears Tower quite frequently.

As for Chicago, Navy Pier with a shot of the skyline behind is it probably as iconic as it's going to get. The trouble is that a close up of the pier itself doesn't necessarily scream Chicago, assuming the Navy Pier sign is not included.
The St. Louis Arch is a possible, but I just don't have as much faith in the average American's sense of geography.
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