Seven Wonders of the Modern World
Currently home of the University of Michigan Wolverines, Michigan Stadium is the largest college football stadium in the nation. In the 2003 season Michigan hosted long time rival Ohio State in front of a current NCAA record crowd of 112,118 fans.1 Nicknamed The Big House, Michigan Stadium is located in Ann Arbor and has seen over 35 million fans passed threw its gates since its inaugural game on October 1st, 1927.1 I chose this piece of architecture because it is considered a football cathedral and a stadium like this will be rich in tradition for a lot longer than a hundred years from now.
Daytona International Speedway
Nestled on the outskirts of Daytona Beach, Florida, Daytona International Speedway hosts a number of activities including civil functions, police training, numerous car shows and, more famously, auto racing. Considered The Superbowl of Motorsports, the Daytona 500 is an annual event that hosts The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series. Daytona is famously known as the World Center of Racing and during the weekend of the 500 the numbers back it up.2 The Great American Race entertains a whopping 200,000 in attendance on average and approximately 39 million viewers worldwide.2 This years Daytona 500 will be in the living rooms of 150+ countries and translated into 63 languages. A century from now the majority of the world will look back and consider Daytona the Mecca of motorsports.
Bank of China Tower
Unveiled on May 17th 1990, the Bank of China Tower soared into the Hong Kong skies as the first skyscraper to exceed 1000 feet in a country other than America.3 This commercial office building quickly became the jewel of China. Taking nearly 15 years to complete, the 72 floor, 367 meter (1,205ft.) tower cost an impressive 130 million dollars. 3 Architect I.M. Peis genius was tested early in the design of the tower due to the relatively small budget, limited available space in a crammed downtown district and not to mention a small inconvenience for any architect in East Asia known as Typhoons. Pei successfully compromised these difficulties by designing a stylish, aerodynamic and spiritual epicenter that the entire world will envy for many generations to come.
The Eiffel Tower located in Paris, France is considered by many to be the symbol for all of Europe. The Eiffel Tower was originally built to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution. With construction lasting just over 2 years, the tower was opened on March 31st, 1889.4 Weighing just over 10,000 tons, the Eiffel Tower is considered a relatively light structure.4 The 985 foot tower boasts, what many consider, one of the most breath-taking views in the entire world.4 The Eiffel Tower is the supreme European Monument and has solidified its place in history.
Golden Gate Bridge
Joseph B. Strauss chief engineer and architect of The Golden Gate Bridges had a dream of building a suspension bridge that crossed the Golden Strait and connected San Francisco and Oakland. Unfortunately many did not take his dream seriously deeming it impossible to do. Costing an estimated 27 million dollars, The Golden Gate Bridge was completed in 1937.5 It is said that the amount of cable used to suspend this bridge could wrap around Earth three times. Since its opening nearly 1.6 billion people have crossed the bridge which spans 1.7 miles.5 This fully functional marvel will continue to set the bar on innovation for many years to come.
Channel Tunnel / Chunnel
The Channel Tunnel lies underneath the English Channel connecting France and England. Completed in 1994, The Chunnel stretches an unbelievable 163,680 feet.6
That is the equivalent of 31 miles.6 Taking just 6 six years to complete the project cost an astounding 21 billion dollars.6 The project consisted of three tunnels, two for travel and one for emergency use. Early in the Chunnels operation a fire broke out and passengers were saved due to the fact that there was an emergency escape tunnel. It was reported that in the first 5 years of the Chunnels operation trains carried 28 million passengers. These days the trains average 100 mph which would make it possible to arrive in France within an hour of departure from England.
New York State Capitol
Completed in 1899, The New York State Capitol Building was the most expensive government building of its time.7 The Capitol took 32 years of building, three different architects and approximately 25 million dollars to finish.7 In 1911 the Capitol was nearly destroyed by fire that swept through the library and left it to ashes. Thankfully the fire was contained and the building was salvageable. Due to the multiple changes in building architects the exterior design has always been nicknamed battle of the styles. The exterior had Italian Renaissance, Romanesque, and French Renaissance influence in a very tasteful blend. The Capitol Building has five stories with a full basement and attic.7 This building serve as one of the first examples of how much emphasis was put on the American ideals of a true democratic nation. The New York State Capitol building serves as a symbol of our freedom and represents the dreams and aspirations our fore-fathers envisioned.