Love history? Check out these 39 iconic landmark buildings


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Historical churches. Revolutionary homes. Record-setting skyscrapers. Take a virtual history class by scrolling through this gallery of 39 American landmark buildings that are still standing. 

39 iconic American landmarks

Empire State Building
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1. Empire State Building, New York City

The iconic 102-story skyscraper is no longer the tallest building in the Big Apple. (That honorific goes to One World Trade Center.) But it is one of the oldest of its towering brethren, commissioned and constructed by a group of wealthy investors, including former General Motors executive John Jakob Raskob, back in 1930.

St. Louis Cathedral
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2. St. Louis Cathedral, New Orleans

A church has stood in the center of Louisiana’s French Quarter’s historic Jackson Square since 1727. The current cathedral, largely restored in the mid-1800s, is open for self-guided tours every day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with mass held at 12:05 p.m.

Washington, D.C.

3. Washington Monument, Washington, D.C.

The unmistakable 555-foot marble obelisk was built between 1848 and 1884 to honor and memorialize the first U.S. president, George Washington. Visitors can now take an elevator ride to its observation deck, which offers “the finest view of the Nation’s Capital and surrounding areas into Virginia and Maryland,” per the National Park Service.

The Old State House
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4. Old State House, Boston

The historic State House was originally built in 1713 as a merchant’s exchange and seat of colonial government. It is most famously known as the site of the Boston Massacre, the deadly riot largely considered the start of the American Revolution. 

Washington Water Power
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5. Washington Water Power/Avista Building, Spokane, Washington

The building, overlooking the Spokane River and the Monroe Street Bridge, was originally built back in 1890 to power the city’s electrical grid. The Washington Water Power Company changed its name to Avista back in 1999. 

Virginia State Capitol
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6. Virginia State Capitol Building, Richmond

Virginia’s seat of government owns the distinction of being the first U.S. state capitol building built after the Revolutionary War. It was designed, in part, by Thomas Jeffereson, then renovated and expanded from 2004 to 2007. 

The Alamo
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7. The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

You no doubt remember the Alamo, the historic Spanish mission that served as a pivotal battle site during Texas’ war for independence from Mexico in 1836. The site currently serves as a museum; it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015. (Check out these other 24 breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage sites in the U.S.)  

Mount Vernon
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8. Mount Vernon, Virginia

This historic home of George and Martha Washington was built by the first president’s father, Augustine Washington, back in 1734. The Washingtons expanded the property over the next 45 years. It now serves as a museum and popular tourist site.

Portland Observatory
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9. Portland Observatory, Maine

Built in 1807, this octagonal observatory was one of the first marine signal stations in the United States. It became a National Historic Landmark in 2006.

Independence Hall
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10. Independence Hall, Philadelphia

This historic landmark is famously the building in which the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. In colonial times, it housed all three branches of Pennsylvania’s government. 

Fort McHenry
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11. Fort McHenry, Baltimore

This enduring fort — the first one to be commissioned by the U.S. government — is perhaps most famous for inspiring Francis Scott Key to write the National Anthem during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814.

Taos Pueblo
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12. Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

This Native American adobe settlement was likely built between 1000 and 1450 A.D. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992.

white house
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13. The White House, Washington, D.C.

The White House has served as the official residence of the president of the United States since John Adams. It was famously rebuilt after the British set fire to the residence during the War of 1812 and has undergone many renovations and expansions over the course of its history. The house currently has 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, and six levels. 

Boone Store and Warehouse
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14. Boone Store and Warehouse, Bodie, California

Bodie, a gold-mining ghost town in Mono County, California, houses this general store, built back in 1879 and owned by Harvey Boone, Daniel Boone’s direct descendent.

Stone House
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15. Stone House, Manassas, Virginia

Built in 1848, this historic building, now located in Manassas National Battlefield Park, served as a field hospital during the First and Second Battles of Bull Run. 

Ellis Island
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16. Ellis Island, New York City

The historic station in New York Harbor welcomed more than 12 million immigrants to the United States from 1855 to 1890.

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17. Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

The island in California’s San Francisco Bay housed a prison from 1861 to 1963. Known commonly as “The Rock,” the facility is now operated by the National Park Service and, in non-pandemic times, is open for guided tours.

Lincoln Memorial
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18. Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

The now-iconic neoclassical monument to the 16th president of the United States was completed and open to the public in 1922.

Castillo de San Marcos
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19. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St. Augustine, Florida

This 340-year-old Spanish stone fortress is considered the oldest masonry fort in the continental United States. You can tour the site virtually on the National Park Service website. 

Looking for more digital entertainment? We’ve rounded up 40 of the best virtual museum tours.

Faneuil Hall
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20. Faneuil Hall, Boston

The large meeting hall, also known as “the cradle of liberty,” has hosted protests, debates and meetings for revolutionaries, abolitionists, women’s suffragists, labor unionists and more during its 275-year history. 

Palace of the Governors
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21. Palace of the Governors, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Originally constructed in 1610, this adobe structure has served as the home of New Mexico’s Spanish, Mexican and American governors. It is now the state’s history museum.

John Adams birthplace
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22. John Adams Birthplace, Quincy, Massachusetts

Built in 1681, this historic cottage welcomed the second president of the United States to the world on Oct. 30, 1735. (Learn weird facts about every U.S. president.) 

Tennessee Parthenon
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23. The Parthenon, Nashville, Tennessee

The centerpiece of Nashville’s Centennial Park, this fullscale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens, Greece was erected in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition. It currently serves as the state’s official museum, featuring 63 paintings by 19th-and-20th-century American artists.

MLK Jr National Historical Park
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24. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, Atlanta

The 35-acre national park contains several historic buildings related to the life and work of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., including his birth home, the Ebenezer Baptist Church and the tomb of King and his wife and fellow civil rights leader, Coretta Scott King.

Paul Revere House
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25. Paul Revere House, Boston

The midnight rider and his family lived in this “modest dwelling” during the American Revolution. It is now the oldest standing residential building in downtown Boston.

The Breakers
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26. The Breakers, Newport, Rhode Island

This “summer cottage” belonging to and inhabited by the wealthy Vanderbilt family was completed in 1895. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1994.

Nebraska State Capitol
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27. Nebraska State Capitol, Lincoln

The United States’ “first truly vernacular State Capitol” was constructed between 1922 and 1932, after New York Architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue won a nationwide design competition.

Mount Washington Resort
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28. Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

This Spanish Renaissance-style hotel was considered one of the most luxurious resorts at the time of its construction in 1902 — and, as such, attracted numerous celebrities and dignitaries, including Thomas Edison. It was purchased by Omni Hotels & Resorts in December 2015.

Round Church
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29. The Old Round Church, Richmond, Vermont

Built in the early 1800s, The Old Round Church was originally a town meeting hall and place of worship for members of five Protestant denominations. It is now a National Historic Landmark.

Apollo Theater
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30. Apollo Theater, New York City

The famous Harlem music hall opened in 1914 and helped to launch the career of many influential and iconic jazz, blues, R&B and gospel artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross and Lauryn Hill.

Trinity Church
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31. Trinity Church, Boston

Trinity Church’s congregation dates all the way back to 1733, though the parish’s current home was built after its second church was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1872.

Mission San Juan Capistrano
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32. Mission San Juan Capistrano, California

Originally founded by Spanish priest Junipero Serra in 1776 as a self-sufficient community, the mission is sometimes referred to as the “birthplace of Orange County.” It’s currently a museum that, in non-pandemic times, welcomes around 300,000 visitors a year. 

Fort de Chartres
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33. Fort de Chartres, Prairie Du Rocher, Illinois

Built in 1720, this massive fort served as the seat of French government and a military base for the next 43 years. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

Presidio La Bahía
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34. Presidio La Bahía, Goliad, Texas

First built as a Spanish mission and fortress in 1747, the presidio was the site of the Battle of Goliad and the Goliad Massacre during the Texas Revolution. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1967.

The Palace of FIne Arts
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35. The Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco

Originally built for the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915, the theatre did stints as a military storage depot, Parks Department warehouse, and temporary Fire Department before undergoing restoration and reopening in the 1960s.

The Pilgrim Monument
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36. The Pilgrim Monument, Provincetown, Massachusetts

The 252-foot tower was erected between 1907 and 1910 to honor the Pilgrims’ first landing in Provincetown. Its base currently houses a museum and visitors can climb to the top of the tower to take in the views of the coastline. 

Hopi House
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37. Hopi House, Grand Canyon Village, Arizona

This National Historic Landmark was designed by architect Mary E.J. Colter in 1905 “to reflect that of a typical adobe pueblo used by the Hopi Indians of Old Oraibi.”

 Ford's Theatre
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38. Ford’s Theatre, Washington, D.C.

This D.C. theatre and museum was the site of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at the hand of John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865.

Corn Palace
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39. Mitchell Corn Palace, South Dakota

The World’s Only Corn Palace has existed for over a century. It was built back in 1892 and now attracts nearly 500,000 visitors each year. 

Made in the U.S.A.

Ready for more Americana? Check out this roundup of 55 of the most popular products made in the United States

This article was produced and syndicated by

Image Credit: Sean Pavone


Jeanine Skowronski

Jeanine Skowronski is a veteran personal finance journalist and content strategist, she has previously served as the Head of Content at Policygenius, Executive Editor of and a columnist for Inc. Magazine. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, American Banker Magazine, Newsweek, Business Insider, CNBC and more.