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Iconic Architecture: CSI Members Share Their Favorite Historic Structures

By Peter Kray posted 03-13-2019 13:53


Construction industry professionals had some very interesting responses to this question on the CSI Community Page: “Machu Picchu, the Palace of Versailles, the Great Pyramids of Giza-which famous structures would you have most liked to helped build, and why?” 

Here they are:

“The Maginot Line of the 1920s-1930s. Perhaps it was a useless investment, and it never even remotely achieved anything like its purpose, and it wasn't very aesthetic, but it sure as heck must've been cool to design and build. 

In the same vein, the fortifications at Metz, France (built after the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian War and eventually part of the Maginot Line system) and Liege, Belgium, would also have been cool to build.

Keep in mind, I’m an engineer who works on engineer-led (instead of architect-led) projects and am an amateur military historian, which probably explains my answer.”
Kevin O'Beirne, PE, FCSI, CCS, CCCA

The Maginot fortifications would have been interesting.

“Having toured the Titan Missile Museum in Arizona ("Top to Bottom Tour," I highly recommend it), I did think of a Titan Missile Silo. I am not en engineer, but the engineering on that was impressive. It was not just designed for launching a missile but with the idea that it would get hit by a nuclear bomb.

On a sweeter, more pleasant note, going back in the time and working on the Second Temple in Jerusalem would have been interesting. It was an impressive structure. Or Persepolis. That would have been something to build also.”
Loretta Sheridan CSI, CDT, FMP, LC, SEGD


“The Empire State Building in NYC.”
David Lewis CSI


“My first obvious choice is the spectacular Chrysler Building in New York. Another impressive building is Louis Sullivan’s bank in Owatonna, Minnesota.”
Gene Fosheim MS, MA, FCSI, CD


“Although many of us would like to take the credit, only contractors build stuff.  With that qualification I would say that working through the detailing and specifications for the Large Hadron Collider would have been fun. The thing I like about this business is the free education I get from the end users.”
Jeffrey Pilus CSI, CCCA, AIA Ass., USGBC, SCIP


“The first thing that comes to mind is the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport, even though I know it’s just gone through a big renovation. At the time, that building was really out on the edge of what we could do technically, and the quality of the work still is apparent.”
Anne Whitacre FCSI, CCS, CDT, LEED AP


“Çatalhöyük, Mohenjo-daro, Schindler's Kings Road house, a Greene & Greene, an Horta, Mendelsohn's Einstein Tower, the Glasgow School of Art, a Wagner, and Hoffmann, Gehry's house...

I have a whole blog of my inspirations: atelier nobody inspirations.”
Dan Helphrey RA, CSI, CCS


“Santa Maria del Fiore or Il Duomo di Firenze (Florence Cathedral)!  Not only was the Architect the designer, he was also the master builder. The inventions Brunelleschi had to come up with in the 1400's to get material up that high and to have masonry make that span is incredible to think about. Not to mention, it is still the world's largest masonry dome.”

Stephen Gantner, RA, CSI, CCS, CCCA, CDT, SCIP


Share more info about which iconic structure you would have liked to help build right here.