PBS Special Explores ‘10 Buildings That Changed America’

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By Stephanie Murg Comment

What are the most influential buildings in America? Jot down a top ten list and then compare your picks with the structures that get their close-ups in 10 Buildings That Changed America, a special that premieres Sunday night on PBS. Host Geoffrey Baer criscrosses the country on a journey that spans two centuries of architectural innovation, from Thomas Jefferson‘s neoclassical Virginia State Capitol to the swooping stainless steel forms of Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. In an interview with Baer, Frank Gehry reveals the secret behind the profusion of brass handrails in the concert hall and describes winning the 1988 design competition as “the least-likeliest thing that I thought would ever happen to me in my life.” New York is represented by the Seagram Building, which comes in at #7 and with insights from Phyllis Lambert, although three other Gotham landmarks–the Woolworth Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Guggenheim–made the extended list (“ten more buildings that changed America“) posted on the program’s website, where you can watch the individual segments along with web-exclusive additional footage.