Would you take an architectural pilgrimage?

Donald at www.2blowhards.com nominates some architectural pilgrimages worth taking.  I suggest the Ford Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan:


Here is a brief history, with some stunning black and white photos.  I also enjoyed my pilgrimages to Tulsa and Kansas City (barbecue too).  Buenos Aires has the best public sculptures.  I’ll nominate the Taj Mahal for the most overrated site; it looks just like the postcard and I liked the saris of the visitors more than the site itself.  Here is a picture of Magnitogorsk, which I hope to visit.  Here is a broader index of Magnitogorsk pictures.  Brasilia is another dream of mine, and yes I do find that image attractive.

Here is an on-line version of Ludwig Lachmann’s Capital and its Structure, courtesy of Liberty Fund.


While you're visiting the Rouge plant, which is a marvel, you can also see some pretty good architecture in Detroit proper. It's underrated from that standpoint. (see here: http://www.123.net/~czege/downtown.html)
And you can even see a classic example of the "big glass cylinder" school of architecture popular in the '70s and eighties (http://www.buildingphotos.com/detroit/DE-rencen.shtml)

What is exciting about the Ford Rouge plant in Dearborn? I just went to Dearborn to see the Edison lab recreation in Greenfield Village. But why would I want to see the Rouge plant? That photo looks like an industrial dump; they have those all over.

Am I just dense and missing something obvious?

What is not captured in photos of the Taj - which, like the Swiss Alps, does not look much different than a postcard from a distance - is the unbelievable level of detail in the mosiac tile work over the entire structure. Breathtaking at close inspection.

My nomination:

The Long Beach refinery. It's a true temple of industry, so icy and
greenish and white, glowing with thousands of coppery halogen glints,
all of those tiny lights in vertical rows down the industrial steeples, echos of tiny stone rose adornments on Europe's gray Gothic cathedrals, shimmery, encircled in
white mists, and extending for miles and miles. It's like Oz.

It's the most distracting thing I've ever encountered on any highway,
one cannot help but steal a glance upon passing and marvel in overwhelming wonder at the incredible beauty of the great refinery.

The Andes up close by small airplane - that dangerous thin space between heaven
and earth just slightly over where so many small planes crash.

It's dangerous beauty. You have never seen so many shades of green on steep slanting geometic mountain ranges - luminescent, irridiscent, light, deep, blended,
indefinable. The heavy clouds at their edges cling like solid rocks,
casting sharp shadows broken up by blazing spans of equatorial light.

The sight of these mountains, wherever I see them - Ecuador, Venezuela,
Colombia, Argentina - are like a sacrament.


If you find that image of Brasilia attractive, you should try to make your way to Pyongyang (really!). I was there in October, and the entire city looks like it was copied from a Le Corbusier drawing. Row after row of identical buildings, Soviet realist prop instead of advertisements, monumental architecture (including a hollow 1000 ft. tall pyramid that was meant to be a hotel), 8-lane roads devoid of cars...

Le Corbusier's actual city is Chandigarh in India (luckily we didn't let him touch Paris!). My friend who grew up there is adamant that it's the single worst designed city in the world, but if one is listing architectural pilgrimages, it ought be listed.

Eat your heart out Tyler: I have toured the river rouge ford plant 3 times!!
my favorite architecture though is a bit older, Monte Alban, Tikal, Palenque.

The River Rouge link doesn't go to where you wanted it to. I presume they were Charles Sheeler photographs. One of my favorites.

The Futurists were amazing:


Check out the EUR south of Rome:


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