Pittsburgh, PA
08.21.2012 2:00PM

It's hard to think about Pittsburgh and not immediately think about the Rust Belt. In fact between 1954-2002, Pittsburgh lost more than 58% of its manufacturing jobs. But if what I saw Monday while wandering around the city is any indication - it was bustling with people - its a connection the city is trying to shed. At the same time, the once booming businesses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries are responsible for some fantasic architecture, that much to my surprise remains intact. There's large overhanging cornices; absurd amounts of decorative terra cotta; and dazzling touches not seen in contemporary architecture. The H.H. Richardson county court and jail is stunning. Noticeably absent, save for a few buildings, are Art Deco and Brutalist buildings. In contrast to the gems of the early 20th century are some particularly unfortunate Post-Modern buildings, specifically Philip Johnson's "castle in the sky".

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