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Houston building towers as the most beautiful in Texas

Houston building towers as the most beautiful in Texas

Bank of America center downtown Houston skyline
Voters named the Bank of America center the most beautiful building in Texas.  Photo courtesy of Bank of America Tower

For those keeping score, Houston has again topped a best-of list. A local building has towered over others in Texas as the most beautiful in the state, according to a new survey.

Readers of Business Insider were asked to name the one “architectural masterpiece” they most admire in their state. National responses ranged from a cliffside church to a famous lighthouse.

In Texas, the Bank of America Center, the iconic, instantly recognizable centerpiece that defines downtown Houston’s skyline, earned top marks as the most beautiful building in Texas. The Bank of America Center is a 56-story, 1.5 million-square-foot office tower with an adjacent 12-story (125-foot-high) banking hall. The neo-Gothic building, completed in 1983 and designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee, shines in the Houston sky with its red granite and reflective glass.

Fittingly, Bank of America Center’s towering neighbor, Pennzoil Place, also scored an honorable mention, as did Rice University’s picturesque, collegiate classic, Lovett Hall

Completed in 1975,  Pennzoil Place was dubbed the "Building of the Decade" in 1975 by New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable due to its dramatic sculptural silhouette. The building is also considered significant in architectural circles for breaking the modernist glass box made popular by followers of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and for introducing the era of postmodernism.

Lovett Hall, the Rice administration building lauded for its medieval Byzantine sculptural decoration and built in 1912, has been described as "what a Houston-style architecture might look like" by local expert Stephen Fox. The Houston-centric structure was built with brick made from clay excavated from Buffalo Bayou and trimmed with pink Texas granite.

Statewide, Fort Worth’s Kimbell Art Museum also garnered major kudos. The silvery structure, designed by architect Louis I. Kahn and completed in 1972, is a favorite for its striking vaults and skylights, and is widely recognized as one of the most significant works of U.S. architecture in recent times.