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Alcatraz Island, San Francisco
The fort, federal penitentiary and American Indian occupation site housed infamous inmates including Al Capone and George "Machine Gun" Kelly. It was closed as a prison in March 1963 by Bobby Kennedy, then the U.S. attorney general.
A poultry farmer built this beaut (complete with Model-T taillights for eyes) on Long Island's east end to hawk his Pekin ducks. Thanks to him, in architecture lingo a "duck" is a building whose shape reflects its function.
Ed Betz/AP Photo
Mesa Verde, Colo.
Ancestors of the Pueblo people built this 150-room cliff-side dwelling, along with similar complexes, where they took refuge from the heat in the canyon-side shade. Its underground ceremonial rooms were similar to those the Hopi use today.
George H.H. Huey/Corbis
This prairie-meets-Arabia building adorned with minarets and flags is a go-to place for everything from stage shows and festivals to high school basketball games and proms.
George H.H. Huey/Corbis
Mill Run, Pa.
A vacation home for Edgar J. Kaufmann, owner of Kaufmann's Department Store, this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house was built over a 30-foot waterfall and crafted to harmonize with nature.
Richard T. Nowitz/Corbis
Frank Lloyd Wright's grand-scale masterpiece opened six months after his death at age 91. The circular modern-art museum continues to stand out against Fifth Avenue's right-angled structures and attracts about a million visitors a year.
Bates Littlehales/National Geographic/Getty Images
San Simeon, Calif.
William Randolph Hearst asked architect Julia Morgan to design "a little something" to replace the tents at his family's summer camp. The Mediterranean Revival palace hosted A-listers such as Winston Churchill and Charles Lindbergh.
Joe Johnston/The Tribune/AP Photo
This full-scale replica of its 5th-century B.C. Greek namesake was the centerpiece of the state's 1897 Centennial Exposition. It serves as Nashville's art museum and boasts something the original lost in antiquity: a 42-foot statue of the goddess Athena.
Curtis Hilbun/AP Photo
Plans for the 1962 World's Fair centerpiece called for a stork's nest atop the 605-foot tower — but storks don't live in Seattle; it's too cold. In the needle's eye, the rotating SkyCity Restaurant offers diners highly rated food and a citywide panorama.
Joel W. Rogers/Corbis
Colorado Springs, Colo.
With 17 spires like jets flying in formation, this multidenominational chapel features multiple worship rooms. The U.S. Air Force's marvel of modern architecture was designed by Walter A. Netsch Jr.
Blaine Harrington III/Corbis
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