These Architectural Wonders Might as Well be Time Machines

Here’s what’s making us happy this week.

To really time travel, all you need to do is walk through the front door.

Welcome to the 1100s. This is vintage property, for real: Approximately 900-year-old apartments known as Montezuma Castle built into Arizona’s limestone cliffs by engineering-savvy pre-Columbian people. Follow a trail (self-guided). You can also detour to Montezuma Well, where about 1.5 million gallons of water flows daily despite recent droughts. The castle is a two-hour drive from Scottsdale.

Montezuma Castle Steven ReynoldsPhoto by Steven Reynolds

Welcome to the 1880s. If you’ve seen Mrs. Doubtfire or Party of Five, you’ll recognize Alamo Square; the Victorian homes within this San Francisco neighborhood are Hollywood- and postcard-famous. To see interiors, though, you’ll need a friend on the lease. Your second best bet is to join the Victorian Home Walk, which showcases Queen Anne, Italianate, and Stick-style architecture on a roughly two-hour walking tour.

Painted Ladies David McSpaddenPhoto by David McSpadden

Painted Ladies Vjeran PavicPhoto by Vjeran Pavic

Welcome to 1930s. After the 1906 earthquake, many San Franciscans fled east to Oakland. So it makes sense that the city is heavily influenced by Art Deco, particularly in the Uptown neighborhood. You can tour the 1929 Paramount Theatre on the first and third Saturdays of every month; stop in for a cocktail at the old Floral Depot, now Flora; or order a latte at I. Magnin & Co. building—Tierra Mia is on the ground floor with 24-foot ceilings.

Photo by Christine Ciarmello

Welcome to the future. Chicago’s first Architecture Biennial will open October 3 (continuing through January 3). Architecture, designers, planners, and geeks of all these disciplines may want to head to the hub, Chicago Cultural Center. On exhibit will be “BOLD: Alternative Scenarios for Chicago,” which reimagines the waterways, roads, and public spaces.

ArandaLasch_PalaisdesArts_creditArandaLaschPhoto courtesy of Chicago Architecture Biennial

JohnRonanArchitects_TheGaryComerYouthCenter_creditSteveHallandHedrichBlessingPhoto by Steve Hall and Hedrich Blessing via Chicago Architecture Biennial

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