New and luxurious buildings are sprouting all over the nation. With the glitz and glamour of glass façades, it can be easy to overlook some of the gems that are an important part of the fabric of America.

These are only 10 of the most historic buildings in the United States!


1. Federal Hall – New York City, NY (1701)

The construction for Federal Hall started in 1699!
  • The first American Congress met here, implemented the Constitution and brought American democracy to life.
  • The Bill of Rights was passed here, securing our first freedoms.
  • The Office of the President was invented here and George Washington, the first American president, was inaugurated here.

2. The Alamo – San Antonio, Texas (1718)

The Alamo makes it on the list because this building (although it may not be the biggest) was standing long before Texas became a state! Between the battles with Spain, Mexico, and the United States, the Alamo was molded for the military. It was in the hands of the Union and the Confederacy but was claimed again by U.S. Troops after the civil war.

The Alamo doesn’t look exactly the same since it was first constructed. Some of the walls were never finished but the updates on the facility never ended.

 3. St. Louis Cathedral – New Orleans, LA (1727)

This Roman Catholic cathedral was completed the year the city was founded. It was actually redone in 1794 after the Great New Orleans Fire.

However, the St. Louis Cathedral has survived more than just a fire. In 1909, a bomb went off shattering the windows and damaging some of the walls. The following year, a part of the foundation gave in and the cathedral was shut down for the year of 1916. The damage still wasn’t over yet. Hurricane Katrina was so powerful that it put a hole in the roof, causing water to come in and destroy the historic Holtkamp pipe organ.

However, the St. Louis Cathedral may not be the highest building, but it’s resilient and now a huge tourist attraction. Its a great representation of the resilience of the New Orleans community.

4. Independence Hall – Philadelphia, PA (1753)

It’s well known that Independence Hall is also a mecca for U.S. History. The U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were adopted here. Andrew Hamilton oversaw the construction and had planned for the building to house the three branches of government.

Did you know?

  • The Independence Hall basement was used for some time as a dog pound! This didn’t last long as the City needed more space.
  • A horrible fate escaped! At one point, the building was going to be sold as part of a private development!

5. Lincoln Memorial- Washington, D.C.  (1914-1922)

At first glance, the Lincoln Memorial might be confused with a Greek temple. But, this monument was created to pay tribute to our 16th president responsible for democracy in the USA.

The Gettysburg Address, the speech given at the end of the Civil War, is laid across the north wall. The 36 columns represent the states that existed at the time of Lincoln’s death.


6. Chrysler Building – New York City, NY (1930):

This was the first skyscraper to win the title of World’s Tallest Building after it revealed. Less than a year later, the Empire State Building swooped in to claim the title.  Walter Chrysler wanted to create the largest building in the world and planned to leave the building to his children after he passed, however, it raised a 125-foot spire in just 90 minutes after the reveal.

Walter Chrysler, the owner of Chrysler Corporation, wanted a headquarters for his company and paid the construction fee himself so that his family could inherit the building after he died.  As of January 2019, the majority owners of the Chrysler Building (90%) is the Abu Dhabi Investment Council (ABIC), with Tishman Speyer owning the remaining 10%.

However, Tishman Speyer and ABIC are selling the building to Signa Holding and RFR Holding for a whopping $150 million.


7. The Old State House – Boston, MA (1713)

As the Massachusetts General Court was held here until 1798, the Old State House is one of the oldest buildings in America. It’s now a history museum by the Bostonian Society. The building has gone through some wear and tear from its years, but it is constantly under maintenance to keep it running.


8. Flatiron Building – New York City, NY (1902)

A building so unique that one end is only 6 feet wide! The Flatiron Building wasn’t always appreciated, though. Many people were skeptical about the engineering involved to maintain the structure of the building and feared it would collapse.

However, the building proved the test of time and is now considered a historical monument for New York City. As of now, the building is occupied by a publishing company, but the lease is up in 2020, where it will then be turned into a boutique hotel!

9. Maryland State House – Annapolis, MD (1797)

Did you know that Annapolis used to serve as the capital of the United States? For a little over one year, the Congress of the Confederation met here at the Maryland State House.

Inside the Old Senate Chamber of the Maryland State House, Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris which ended the American Revolutionary War in 1784.

 10. Rand McNally Building – Chicago, IL (1889)

The first skyscraper built with an all-steel frame in the United States!

The Rand McNally Building was also the first with all terra cotta facade street fronts.

It was designed to resemble the Parthenon of Athens and Pantheon of Rome!

Check Out Our Other Articles:

Out With The Old, In With The Repurposed

4 Benefits To Preserving Historical Buildings

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