Top 10 Best Cities for Photographing Architecture in the US

PalaceDetail, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Here is my list of the top 10 best cities for photographing architecture in the United States. Note that, this does not include Mexico or Canada (sorry, but those are for another list.)

Here’s my list:

10. Los Angeles, CA-for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis Brown House, Chinatown, and nearby mid-century modern architecture. All that plus cool palm trees, and you get to see if you hands are bigger or smaller than a celebrity’s by stuffing them into handprints pressed in the cement sidewalks. For all this and more, the City of Angles clocks in at number 10.

9. Memphis, TN-for antebellum architecture of the south. Not to mention arguably the world’s most famous house: “Graceland.” You can quote Paul Simon and sing, “I’m going to Graceland…” on your way to my #9 selection, Memphis.

8. St. Augustine, FL-for Spanish colonial architecture. Ponce de Leon once thought there was a fountain of youth in this coastal town. Good luck trying to find it but I’m sure you’ll have lot of surprises exploring my #8 pick, Saint Augustine.

7. Charleston, SC-for colonial plantations. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through a small southern town that survived wars, plagues, and modern day “Dixie-crats.” For its historic downtown, plantations, and famous gardens, Charleston ranks #7 on my list.

6. Savannah, GA-for its Victorian homes, mansions and southern style. Savannah is a gem of Georgia that’s worth a peek and so it earns a #6 ranking on my list.

5. San Francisco, CA-Victorian style townhomes mix with the modern Golden Gate bridge. The City by the Bay has some of the most wonderful light of any city on the list, not to mention a photographer-friendly atmosphere. Tour the ‘Haight district, catch the sea lions beaching by the pier, or peek at the old cannery while you’re visiting my #5 city.

4. New Orleans and the plantation country of LA-for the Creole cottage, shotgun shacks, double gallery homes, the French Quarter, and the grand plantations of the south. New Orleans is a city like no other. Old or young, rich or poor, the architecture of the great Crescent City is only overshadowed by it’s fabulous jazz music and fantastic cajun food. Stroll down Bourbon Street and listen to some hot jazz while enjoying my #4 city.

3. Miami, FL-for art deco architecture and Spanish style homes. Where else can you find entire blocks of pastel colored art deco buildings but in Miami’s South Beach? Couple this with incredible golden light and a year-round mild climate and you have an architectural photographer’s paradise. Miami’s color, style, and flair check in at #3 on my list.

2. New York, NY-Everything from the Brooklyn bridge to the brownstones, to the towering skyscrapers, including the gargoyles that alone could fill up a textbook, NYC is packed with architectural wonders. (Well, ok, maybe it’s just packed.) No list would be complete without the “Big Apple.” For it’s mix of styles, architecture, art, culture, and world domination, my hometown of NYC ranks a cool #2 on my list.

1. Santa Fe, New Mexico-for adobe and pueblo architecture. Historically significant, photographically important, culturally diverse, and backed by a robin’s egg blue sky, thanks to it’s ultra-high altitude, Santa Fe and surrounding areas pull in the top spot of my list of cities for photographing architecture in the United States.

Have a favorite city that’s not on the list? Leave a comment or email me and I might just add it to my next one.

Until next time…



  1. CraftyGuy
    December 3, 2006 / 2:50 am

    May I suggest a crosslink between this blog entry and the Utata discussion?

    Just another random thought… 😉

  2. Carol
    December 11, 2006 / 5:59 pm

    Chicago, Seattle, Washington DC, and Boston have all been suggested.

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