Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Interesting Architecture

For this week’s challenge, Tina reminds us of the beauty and uniqueness of architectural design that we might find anywhere on our travels. She writes, “So our challenge this week is to share your images of Interesting Architecture – whether in your back yard or anywhere else around the world.” You can read her entire challenge post here.

In my opening photo, one taken in September, we visited Alamo Square, a small park in the heart of San Fransisco. If you look eastward from the park, you’ll see the Painted Ladies, a collection of Victorian houses that have been featured in many a movie that was filmed in San Fransisco. I was surprised when I looked up the location in Google Maps to find out the street in front of the houses is Steiner Street. I’m sure no relation to any of my family.

Human Rights Museum-1

Only a few hours drive from our home in Fargo, Canada is open again for citizens of the United States to visit. The Human Rights Museum in Winnipeg, Manitoba is a fantastic example of modern architecture and is a place worthy of visiting for reasons far more important than its architecture. It’s a bonus that those upper floors of glass and the observation tower provide spectacular views of the downtown area in Winnipeg.

Capitol Tour-1

Governmental buildings are usually classical in architecture. The Colorado State Capitol building is one example of a beautiful classic design. The North Dakota Capitol (below) was built in the 1930s, and for many years was the tallest building in the state.

Bismarck Capitol-1

Though the exterior design is relatively plain, its art-deco interior features are worth the stop to visit the building.

Santa Fe-30

The one-of-a-kind state capitol building in the country is in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Known affectionately as “The Roundhouse,” it is the only round capitol building in the United States.

Great Hall-1

The exterior of the Library of Congress is certainly an interesting example of classical architecture, but the interior is nothing short of spectacular. Forgive me for sharing this image yet again. It really shows off the architecture of this classic government building.


Native Americans created their own architectural designs long before the Europeans came to settle. This is a partial view of the exterior of a Native American 20-unit “condo” that was built by the Sinagua people sometime between 1100 and 1425 AD.


My final example of an interesting design is actually a memorial and final resting place for a Sufi saint. Known as a dargah, this memorial was built in the mountains near Taos, New Mexico. This revered place of rest for Murshid Samuel Lewis is cared for by residents of a small village of faithful followers of Murshid SAM. It provides a place for contemplation and reverence and some shade from that hot New Mexico sun.

I have gathered some additional examples of interesting architecture on my Flickr site. You can get there by clicking on any of the images above, or you can view the entire album here. Thanks to Tina for this week’s architectural photo challenge.

John Steiner


  1. A fun collection John. The painted ladies were a great idea for the week. We have a similar local example in our Rainbow Row in charleston. I know you’ve shown the library interior before but we’ll worth a repeat. It is glorious!! Now I have to go research Sam!

  2. Great photos, great variety. You covered it all from cliff dwellings on up. I lived off Alamo Square for a time +-38 years ago, when I was getting into computers and worked for the Bank of America. I had a studio apartment that cost me a substantial $500/month at the time. Once they were filming a tv show in front of ‘the Ladies’. I thought it might be Streets of San Francisco with Karl Malden and Michael Douglas, but I see that was done in the 70’s. Must have been one of the countless others filmed in SF.

    • Those ladies are truly celebrities in their own right.
      That neighborhood around Alamo Square has some issues with crime. Signs posted to not leave anything in sight in your car when you leave it, and lots of broken glass on the curb and gutters. Smash and grab is the crime of opportunity there.

  3. While researching my third (and for now, last) book, I had the privilege of visiting the Library of Congress. I must say (channeling Ed Grimley) it took a few minutes to stop staring at the amazing interior of the building and start doing the research. I also must admit taking frequent breaks to stare.

  4. Wonderful choices, John. I enjoyed your collection. I haven’t been inside the L o C yet…but it’s definitely a “must-see.” I bet if you go back far enough, you’d see you’re related to the Steiner in S.F.

  5. What a great selection of interesting architecture John! I can easily see why the painted ladies houses get so much attention. And, the L of C shot is great. I remember viewing parts of it many years ago, it was breath-takingly beautiful. Now after seeing your picture I’m ready to return. It was also very interesting to read a little history about all of your images! Great job!

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