Architectural marvels--let's make our own list

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jbuck919
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Architectural marvels--let's make our own list

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jan 14, 2007 6:05 pm

A recent thread proposed a list of "new" wonders of the world. Let's try something slightly different, meaning we have something like rules.

First, we exclude the great pyramids. Everybody knows that the Pyramid of Khufu is the greatest architectural wonder of all time.

Second, we define architecture. It involves a structure inside which one can stand more or less sheltered with a sense of purpose, or could have before it became a ruin. The Colisseum qualifies, but the Eiffel Tower does not.

Third, it has to still exist at least as a ruin. The Parthenon qualifies, but the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus does not.

Finally, there is no lower limit on the number one may name, but let's set an upper limit on five on the assumption that everybody is not going to name the same five. It would be very nice if you gave a justification for your choice.

I'll start with two that I have personal experience of. One is the Empire State Building, which Ralph suggested on the other thread. (The emphasis is on the first word; it is not the intention to distinguish it from other kinds of empire buildings.) It remains the greatest skyscraper in the world, artistically alone the greatest masterpiece of its kind, and the standard against which all others will forever be measured.

My second nomination is the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. Though some African potentate decided to build a church that was a few feet longer, St. Peter's remains the greatest church in Christendom. I've been impressed by great gothic cathedrals, but they were pretty much what I expected. St. Peter's has to be seen to be believed.

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Post by living_stradivarius » Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:04 pm

The Hoover tower. It's just too phallic to be ignored.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jan 14, 2007 7:16 pm

living_stradivarius wrote:The Hoover tower. It's just too phallic to be ignored.
Very funny. For those who do not know, which is I assume everybody except Strad (I had to look it up myself), the Hoover Tower is on the campus of Stanford University. All vertical structures are phallic symbols, so perhaps we could be a little more into the spirit of things. 8)

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Re: Architectural marvels--let's make our own list

Post by Haydnseek » Sun Jan 14, 2007 10:43 pm

jbuck919 wrote:One is the Empire State Building...It remains the greatest skyscraper in the world, artistically alone the greatest masterpiece of its kind, and the standard against which all others will forever be measured.
I agree, but the Chrysler Building is its closest rival and is really wonderful.
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Re: Architectural marvels--let's make our own list

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:10 pm

Haydnseek wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:One is the Empire State Building...It remains the greatest skyscraper in the world, artistically alone the greatest masterpiece of its kind, and the standard against which all others will forever be measured.
I agree, but the Chrysler Building is its closest rival and is really wonderful.
Of the great skyscraper cities of the world, only New York has two distinct and distinguished skylines (downtown and midtown). They would be so even without the Empire State, which is rather a miracle no matter how you look at it (literally and figuratively).

The downtown skyline is, er, rather missing something these days, but without wishing to appear insensitive, those two boxes were never the icons that the Empire State is. They were controversial on the basis of architectural mediocrity from the time of their construction, which I remember. That having been said, the downtown skyline has lost its soul, which is why the Freedom Tower must be completed.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: Architectural marvels--let's make our own list

Post by DavidRoss » Sun Jan 14, 2007 11:49 pm

Haydnseek wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:One is the Empire State Building...It remains the greatest skyscraper in the world, artistically alone the greatest masterpiece of its kind, and the standard against which all others will forever be measured.
I agree, but the Chrysler Building is its closest rival and is really wonderful.
The Empire State Building may be bigger, but to quote Maria Muldar, "It ain't the meat, it's the motion." Chrysler building, hands down.

As for HooTow...forgive them, Strad, bearing in mind the provincialism of the industrial East. Remember the famous New Yorker cover with a map of the U.S. in which Manhattan dwafts the rest of the continent. Phallic it may be, but bear in mind that "Hoover's last erection" was designed by the great Julia Morgan.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

"It is the highest form of self-respect to admit our errors and mistakes and make amends for them. To make a mistake is only an error in judgment, but to adhere to it when it is discovered shows infirmity of character." ~Dale Turner

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Brendan

Post by Brendan » Tue Jan 16, 2007 4:58 pm

The Sydney Opera House usually rates a mention in these lists.

I agreee with Michelangelo that the dome of the cathedral in Florence is the true masterpiece of architecture, and changed building design and construction techniques ever after, but I also agree with Jbuck that St Peter's is incomparable in its own way (more for art than architecture for me, however).

Gaudi's (incomplete) cathedral in Barcelona is simply the most amazing building I have ever seen. The plans for its completion are even more awesome (if they stick with Gaudi's designs).

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Post by BWV 1080 » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:28 pm

Noah's Ark
The City of R'Lyeh
The Tyrell Building, Los Angeles
The Library of Babel

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Post by jbuck919 » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:28 pm

BWV 1080 wrote:Noah's Ark
The City of R'Lyeh
The Tyrell Building, Los Angeles
The Library of Babel
The building in Houston where Steve goes to learn how to pull people's legs. :)

BTW I expected the Sydney Opera House to come up and only didn't mention it because I decided not to list anything I haven't seen myself, and I haven't seen a heck of a lot.

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Post by Madame » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:41 pm

Not sure of its greatness, but I love its beauty and would love to see it: The Cathedral of St. Basil in Moscow.

http://www.greatbuildings.com/cgi-bin/g ... m_001.html

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Post by RebLem » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:00 am

I am not so sure any single US buildings qualify, but the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, designed in toto by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is a truly great work of art. Also, that art museum in Bilbao, Spain that was designed by Frank Gehry. Oh, probably the Leaning Tower of Pisa should be on the list, too.
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Post by anasazi » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:15 am

I might add Spaceship Earth, the geosphere centerpice at EPCOT at Walt Disney World. At 180 feet tall and something like 18 million pounds, it is quite unique in the world. Although inspired by Buckminster Fuller's ideas it is not a dome, but a dodecahedron.

I would rate it as a wonder of the modern world, or at leat a nominee.
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints" - John Muir.

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Post by Madame » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:38 am

And let's not forget Paul Allen's Experience Music Project at the Seattle Center: :wink: :wink:

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:58 am

Of contemporary buildings that I know fairly well, and I don't know why I did not mention it in the first place, the East Buidling of the National Gallery of Art in Washington (I.M. Pei) has always impressed me. An extraordinary main space good for practically nothing but inspiring awe with a few little exhibition spaces off to the side. :)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:04 am

RebLem wrote:I am not so sure any single US buildings qualify, but the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, designed in toto by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is a truly great work of art. Also, that art museum in Bilbao, Spain that was designed by Frank Gehry. Oh, probably the Leaning Tower of Pisa should be on the list, too.
The campanile of Pisa is of course part of a splendid architectural assemblage that includes the cathedral per se and the baptistry. I'm glad Rob mentioned it, but of course if we get into great church architecture.... (Well, keep 'em coming anyway. :) )

Rather late in life I learned that the tower of Pisa could not be truly straightened even if there was a desire to do so. Its construction was already altered in progress to compensate for the tilt, so if it were at a supposed right angle with the horizontal it would still look like a bent nail. But I suppose the rest of you learned that in elementary school when I should have, didn't you? :D

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Post by DavidRoss » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:01 am

BWV 1080 wrote:The Library of Babel
In which we'll find the book with the definitive list of the world's architectural wonders.
"Most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives." ~Leo Tolstoy

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Post by karlhenning » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:19 am

Brendan wrote:I agreee with Michelangelo that the dome of the cathedral in Florence is the true masterpiece of architecture, and changed building design and construction techniques ever after, but I also agree with Jbuck that St Peter's is incomparable in its own way (more for art than architecture for me, however).

Gaudi's (incomplete) cathedral in Barcelona is simply the most amazing building I have ever seen. The plans for its completion are even more awesome (if they stick with Gaudi's designs).
Brunelleschi and Gaudì rule! Sagrada Familia is exquisite!

St Peter's would be more magnificent without that damned massive portico marring the view from the Piazza!

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by karlhenning » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:23 am

Madame wrote:Not sure of its greatness, but I love its beauty and would love to see it: The Cathedral of St. Basil in Moscow.

http://www.greatbuildings.com/cgi-bin/g ... m_001.html
St Basil's is picturesque indeed; but within the Kremlin proper is an exquisite ensemble of basilicas, including that of the Assumption/Dormition:

http://www.kreml.ru/en/main/museums/dormite/

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by karlhenning » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:52 am

Wouldn't call it a marvel . . . save in its being designedly more attractive and humane in scale than your typical steel,-glass-&-concrete urban boxes:

http://www.aviewoncities.com/building/75statestreet.htm

75 State Street in Boston

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:08 pm

karlhenning wrote:Wouldn't call it a marvel . . . save in its being designedly more attractive and humane in scale than your typical steel,-glass-&-concrete urban boxes:

http://www.aviewoncities.com/building/75statestreet.htm

75 State Street in Boston

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Boston has a rather underappreciated and quite marvelous mid-city-sized skyline that is marred only by the apart and ironically misnamed Prudential Building. That was not addressed at Karl, who is doubtless aware of this.

City skylines are never going to be collections of architectural masterpieces. They will at best be a phenomenon of stunning urban verticality that is punctuated by a few buildings that in themselves lend the appropriate distinction to the whole. Anyone who caught the extensive coverage after 9/11 saw numerous photos of the bereft downtown skyline that featured the so-called World Financial Center, not to be confused with the World Trade Center. It might best be described as three of the seven dwarves and is an inexcusable exercise in architectural dorkiness. (I was not around New York when it was being built--I was around when the WTC was being built--so I frankly don't understand why those buildings are not roundly made fun of even in the New York TImes.)

In spite of that, the two skylines of New York are the most living, breathing thing of their kind that there ever was, which is why it is absolutely crucial that the Freedom Tower and what surrounds it do for the downtown skyline what (sorry to say) the WTC never did but the Empire State Building did and forever will to the midtown skyline.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Post by PJME » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:24 pm

A good place to start is : http://whc.unesco.org/en/list

And further : three buildings I find at least extremely interesting.

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The palais Stoclet (Josef Hoffman arch.) in Brussels 1905-1911. Gustav Klimt decorated the dining room.

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The "banco" mosque in Djenné/Mali (ca 1906-1907)

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Rudolf Steiner's (second) Goetheanum (ca 1924-1928) a theater/university for antroposophy.(Dornach Switzerland)

Peter

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Post by PJME » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:34 pm

But maybe this is even better...??? Pieter Breughel:

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The tower of Babel 1563

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Post by Haydnseek » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:36 pm

Cincinnati Union Terminal
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Post by PJME » Wed Jan 17, 2007 3:48 pm

And a very recent one ..in France ( a Franco/Spanish/American work of art..)

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The Millau bridge:
The studies for the Millau Viaduct started back in 1988 with the objective of ending congestion on the A75, the motorway link between Paris and Barcelona.
In June last year Enerpac (Hydraulic Technology) was awarded the contract to supply the hydraulic system for lifting the temporary piers and pushing the bridge decks for the Millau Viaduct Project. Today, the works are in full process and history is being written whilst we speak: The world’s highest bridge is being build.

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:01 pm

It's Brueghel, Peter, and I can't believe I have to correct you on that. (I would not even bother, except that you may not know that English speakers often mispronounce his name as though it were German and the "e" did in fact come before the "u.")

Also, I specified no engineering accomplishments that are not functional architecture. To me bridges, etc. are a separate topic that would make a very worthy additional thread.

So, I now officially hate you. :D Actually, of course, I appreciate your post as I do all of yours as a very valuable contribution. But that thing that looks like a Zigurat, er, just where is that ruin anyway? :)

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-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by PJME » Wed Jan 17, 2007 4:32 pm

jbuck919 wrote:It's Brueghel, Peter, and I can't believe I have to correct you on that. (I would not even bother, except that you may not know that English speakers often mispronounce his name as though it were German and the "e" did in fact come before the "u.")

Also, I specified no engineering accomplishments that are not functional architecture. To me bridges, etc. are a separate topic that would make a very worthy additional thread.

So, I now officially hate you. :D Actually, of course, I appreciate your post as I do all of yours as a very valuable contribution. But that thing that looks like a Zigurat, er, just where is that ruin anyway? :)
Ah, teachers! always a red pencil at hand ....
But you're right of course, and it is a mistake I/we make often.... (it has to do with the pronunciation of "EU", which is common in Flemish/Dutch, "UE" is not...)


As for Djenné (Mali - Africa...): go to : http://www.jorgetutor.com/mali/djenne/d ... mosque.htm Banco is a mixture of mud and straw.
And - yes, I know, bridges would make a good separate topic (I almost included Eifel's Viaduc du Grand Garabit...).

And as an antidote for hating me ( :shock: ), I offer you some steaming Human Passions ( :twisted: :D ) from the Jef Lambeaux /Emile Horta Pavilion in Brussels !!!which i happily put on your architecture list as well!
See all its Art Nouveau glory at :
http://cafe.edu/~dany/brussels/photo/50 ... index.html


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Peter

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Post by PJME » Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:32 pm

John, apparently it is all a bit more complicated.....

At http://vrttaal.net/taaldatabanken_maste ... -407.shtml ,I read:


[i]Breughel / Bruegel / Brueghel
Pieter de Oudere schreef meestal Bruegel, de volgende generatie Brueghel en de derde generatie Breughel.[/i] (The third generation wrote Breughel)


[i]Bruegel, Pieter
Brueghel, Jan I de Oudere
Brueghel, Pieter II de Jongere
Breughel, Jan II de Jongere
Breughel, Pieter III
[/i]

In afleidingen en samenstellingen schrijft Van Dale breugel.

Van Dale ,the leading Flemish/Dutch dictionary writes :

breugeliaans ( breugelian)
breugelkermis ( breugel fair)

...I want my Passions back! :D

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Post by jbuck919 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:12 pm

PJME wrote:John, apparently it is all a bit more complicated.....

At http://vrttaal.net/taaldatabanken_maste ... -407.shtml ,I read:


Breughel / Bruegel / Brueghel
Pieter de Oudere schreef meestal Bruegel, de volgende generatie Brueghel en de derde generatie Breughel.
(The third generation wrote Breughel)


Bruegel, Pieter
Brueghel, Jan I de Oudere
Brueghel, Pieter II de Jongere
Breughel, Jan II de Jongere
Breughel, Pieter III


In afleidingen en samenstellingen schrijft Van Dale breugel.

Van Dale ,the leading Flemish/Dutch dictionary writes :

breugeliaans ( breugelian)
breugelkermis ( breugel fair)

...I want my Passions back! :D
As usual, I get everything I deserve when I kid someone about something involving his own language. At least you are polite about it. :)

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Post by BWV 1080 » Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:31 pm

I forgot what is probably the greatest engineering feat of all - The Ringworld With a circumference of 600,000,000 miles it is hard to equal:

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Post by Madame » Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:57 am

karlhenning wrote:St Basil's is picturesque indeed; but within the Kremlin proper is an exquisite ensemble of basilicas, including that of the Assumption/Dormition:

http://www.kreml.ru/en/main/museums/dormite/

Cheers,
~Karl
Thank you Karl, what a beautiful presentation. Reading its history adds even more dimension.

Thinking back ... went to England in 1986 and announced before the trip -- well, don't plan on my spending a lot of time wandering around a bunch of old buildings. The rest is history :) . King's College Chapel at Cambridge, I was hooked.

http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/chapel/gallery/index.html

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Post by anasazi » Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:13 am

Haydnseek wrote:Cincinnati Union Terminal
I had thought of suggesting that one myself. My favorite art deco structure (so far). Nice suggestion. Nice image too.
"Take only pictures, leave only footprints" - John Muir.

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Post by miranda » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:02 pm

Chartres Cathedral, Chartres, France:

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Chartres labyrinth:

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Ferdinand Cheval's Le Palais de Ideal:

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I'm not sure this counts, but--the Capuchin Crypt, in Rome:

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Post by miranda » Sat Jan 20, 2007 1:36 am

Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota:

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Jungfraujoch Ice Railway station, carved out of a glacier:

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Jungfraujoch Ice Palace

Jungfraujoch Ice Palace Bernese Oberland, Switzerland

ABOVE: The Jungfraujoch Eispalast is carved from the interior of Europe's longest glacier.

The railway station at Switzerland's Jungfraujoch is the highest in Europe, and it's likely that the nearby Eispalast is the highest-altitude ice palace in the world. The Jungfraujoch ice palace is also longer-lasting than most, being hewn from Europe's longest glacier.

Although the Jungfraubahn has been hauling passengers up to the Jungfraujoch for more than 85 years, the ice palace wasn't begun until an artistically inclined mountain guide started hacking at the Aletsch Glacier's innards in 1934. One might ask why an artificial tourist attraction needed to be built within a few steps of Switzerland's most celebrated mountain landscape; perhaps the answer would be, "to give the tourists something to look at when the viewing platform is fogged in."

Jungfraujoch Ice Palace Switzerland
The palace's ice sculptures include vaulted rooms (see above), birds, animals, penguins, people, automobiles, furniture, and even a bar. The palace is an amusing novelty and is worth visiting when you're on the Jungfraujoch--especially since it's free to Jungfraubahn passengers.
Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

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Post by piston » Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:16 am

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Go to this very popular site to vote for the new 7 wonders of the world! It's a formal worldwide election. The Statue of LIberty and the Sydney Opera are included in the short list! Results will be known in July.


http://www.new7wonders.com/
[/img]
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Post by Teresa B » Tue Feb 20, 2007 7:39 am

There's an anthill in my front yard that's pretty spectacular. :shock:

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Post by Ralph » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:32 am

Teresa B wrote:There's an anthill in my front yard that's pretty spectacular. :shock:

Teresa
*****

Photo, please.
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Post by Ralph » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:36 am

Well, there's beautiful Preston Hall, on my campus, where my office is located. I'm on the third floor at the front of this marvelous edifice which is on all walking and bus tours of White Plains.

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Image

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Post by Teresa B » Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:11 pm

Ralph wrote:
Teresa B wrote:There's an anthill in my front yard that's pretty spectacular. :shock:

Teresa
*****

Photo, please.
Would that I could supply one, but alas, it rained last night. :cry:
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Post by Gary » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:07 pm

The Wonder Works building in Orlando, Florida

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