10 Iconic American Landmarks
The White House
City: Washington, D.C.
The White House, the official residence of the President of the United States, has been home to every US president since 1800. Constructed between 1792 and 1800, this mansion is one of the most iconic American landmarks. The structure was destroyed in 1814 (in the course of the War of 1812) and hence rebuilt and painted white giving it its name. The White House is often used as a moniker to refer to the US President or the President’s Executive Office. The President of the United States receives most of the country’s official visitors in this 132 room mansion.
Statue of Liberty
City: New York
The Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island in New York City was a gift from France to the United States to commemorate the centenary of American independence. Built by Gustave Eiffel and designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the statue came to the US in October 1886. It depicts the Roman Goddess Libertas who is shown holding a torch and the tablet of law. The statue symbolizes the ideals of liberty, freedom, and equality that the US is founded on. The 305 feet 1 inch tall monument is one of the global icons that represents the US and welcomes millions of visitors each year.
Empire State Building
City: New York
Located in Midtown Manhattan, New York, the Empire State Building was the first building in the world to have over 100 stories. This 1,454 feet tall building was the world’s tallest when it opened in 1931. The American Society of Civil Engineers has named the Empire State Building one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. Not only is it an icon of American endeavor and enterprise, it also represents the nation’s resilience, having opened up during the Great Depression. The observatory on top of the building is visited by over 3 million visitors each year.
Golden Gate Bridge
City: San Francisco
When the Golden Gate Bridge, between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean in California, opened up to public in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge (in terms of main span) in the world. Often referred to as the “most photographed bridge in the world”, the Golden Gate is an international symbol that represents the state of California. Also on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Wonders of the Modern World, the 4,200 feet bridge links the city of San Francisco to Marin County. Each day the Golden Gate Bridge handles traffic of over 110,000 vehicles.
State: South Dakota
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is another well-known iconic landmark that symbolizes the US and its glorious democratic legacy. Every year, over three million people visit this majestic 60 foot tall sculpture carved into the Black Hills of South Dakota. The faces of four great American presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln – were etched into the hill’s granite slopes by Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln Borglum 1927 onward.
City: Washington, D.C.
The National Mall in Washington D.C. is the most visited national park in the US and for good reasons. Some of the iconic monuments of the country, including the US Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington Monument, WW II Memorial, and 10 museums belonging to the Smithsonian Institution, are located in the National Mall. Some 24 million people visit the National Mall each year. The National Cherry Blossom Festival held in March – April each year is the time when most people visit the National Mall.
City: Los Angeles
The one American art form that is loved the world over is cinema. Hollywood is the quintessential symbol of all things American and the Hollywood signboard in Los Angeles City is the one icon that represents the country and its film industry. Perched high up on Mount Lee of the Santa Monica Mountains the sign is visible from afar. The 45-feet tall sign that spells HOLLYWOOD in white was initially set up in 1923. Visitors cannot get close to the sign, though, since it is protected by the police stationed there round-the-clock.
City: St. Louis
The 630-foot Gateway Arch of St. Louis designed by architect Eero Saarinen was inaugurated in May 1968. It is the tallest arch in the world and also the tallest man-made building in the western hemisphere. The arch is the highlight of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. A tram ride takes visitors to the observatory atop the arch and the views from here are splendid. Millions visit the Gateway Arch each year.
Independence Hall, located on Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, is not only one of the most iconic structures of the US, but is also one of the historically most significant buildings in the country. This is where the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution were debated, signed and adopted. The Independence Hall also features on the back of the USD 100 bill and some stamps. Built between 1732 and 1753, the hall was largely redone in 1898 and plays host to over 650,000 visitors each year. Do not miss the Liberty Bell kept here.
City: New York City
The NASDAQ MarketSite in the Conde Nast Building in Times Square, New York, is best recognized by the LED video display that lights up all seven stories of its cylindrical tower. The NASDAQ MarketSite is an iconic representation of Times Square and New York City and also of the US in its busy, bustling best. In 2014, NASDAQ commissioned a USD 10 million upgrade to its Times Square building. NASDAQ is the second largest stock exchange in the world.