The 7 Wonders of…

Hope everyone is having a lucky 7-7-07. A worldwide vote for the new “Seven Wonders of the World” has been in the news recently, and many local papers are getting in on the act by asking readers their opinions on “The Seven Wonders of [Your Hometown].” Let’s do this for Syracuse and maybe throw it open to all of Onondaga County. (Maybe it would be more productive to first identify 7 Wonders than to identify the 10 Most Endangered Buildings…) The only rule is that these have to be man-made wonders (natural wonders can come in a different list).

Let’s see… obviously, we should include the Carrier Dome and the Landmark Theatre… but what else? (I am coming up with more items for a “7 Horrors” list — Route 81, Solvay waste beds — but let’s be positive.)

Updated: Northview Diary does a riff on this topic: The Seven Wonders of My Farm. Capital idea! If I had more time today I’d do “The Seven Wonders of My Cellar.” (no, really that SHOULD be the Seven Horrors…)

12 thoughts on “The 7 Wonders of…

  1. Phil

    1) Crouse College at S.U. (for shame NYCO for picking a concrete blob as the U’s “natural wonder”)

    2) Onondaga County Courthouse (old one!)

    3) old Syracuse Savings Bank building.

    (both of the above have amazing murals and artwork inside.)

    4) Landmark Theatre

    5) NYS Fairgrounds

    6) Clinton Square

    7) Thornden Park (amphitheatre and rose garden especially.)

  2. Ellen/NYCO/Whatever WordPress wants to call me today Post author

    Ah yes! Thornden Park’s rose garden is a wonder.

    However, Crouse College may be beautiful but I don’t think it makes the general public feel filled with wonder. I think the general public is pretty indifferent to it.

    [smacks forehead] How could I forget the Ni Mo building? That too is a wonder. I think there is a difference between fine architecture and architecture that fills one with wonder.

  3. balogh

    what about the ginormous tower that is just south of the city along 81? That thing is quite impressive, and I feel like I should be wearing a tinfoil hat every time I pass by it!

    I agree with the courthouse, that is a beautiful building, but the fairgrounds? eh, don’know about that one.

  4. sean

    manmade wonders of syracuse …

    in no particular order …

    1.) elmwood park – the sense of beauty in the long victory by nature over order still leaves a sense of just how much they did with stone in the WPA.

    2.) the nimo building – universally considered one of the great examples of art deco in the united states.

    3.) the state tower building – our first classic skyscraper; the act of building it was seen as an expression of civic optimism, and it is still worth going up top for the view.

    4.) the nuke plants – envisioned as dark or not, their looming presence on the lakefront makes a statement on mankind and engineering.

    5.) the lighthouse and breakwater in oswego harbor – a walk along that breakwater, attached to the lake ontario shoreline, is a reminder of that time when humans reached out their short arms to tame a great lake.

    6.) the erie canal – for now, at least, you can only see the remnants in a couple of cigarette-littered pits at clinton square. but that feat of engineering changed the nation and essentially created this city.

    7.) allow me to equivocate: im pei’s everson? love it or hate it, a favorite work by a master … or the carrier dome, outdoor sports captured inside? or in the reveral of manmade, how about man-preserved – as in the onondaga nation, still surviving despite overwhelming external pressure after all these years …

    but i guess as my 7th, sticking to classic criteria, i would choose the woodland reservoir, a beautiful place whose pool of green water reflects the incredible engineering feat of bringing the waters of skaneateles to a thirsty city …


  5. NYCO

    I actually prefer I.M. Pei’s Bird Library, myself. I suppose the fact that Syracuse has 3 Pei buildings is in itself a wonder :-)

  6. Phil

    To defend my two controversial picks:

    Crouse College on a wintry night, lit up and careening down the hill on a plastic tray: Start handing out some cafeteria trays to the general public and we’ll get some wonder going!

    The archictecture at the Fairgrounds isn’t much (except for the Horticulture Bldg.) but the total effect certainly causes people to wax nostalgic–another wonder.

    Would like to add Oakwood Cemetary as a runner-up and I certainly should have found a space for the NiMo building.

    IM Pei’s Everson: put me down in the “hate it” crowd. The only wonder about it was the skateboarding and now they’ve banned that!

  7. David Martin

    Not sure about Elmwood Park – that part of the city is not “inviting” – read stay away from that area of the city.

  8. sean

    everyone has an absolute right to an opinion on where or where not to go, but elmwood – from my perspective – is hardly a scary place, especially by day.

    like many of my neighbors, i walk my dog in the park every day. my kids – and the baseball-playing kids of just about every neighbor that i know – played little league at the incredible little old-school diamond at elmwood. kindergarten and first grade classes from nearby roberts school are often in the park. esf routinely runs programs or seminars for students in the park. county judge joe fahey used to be a regular walker in the park, along with some other familiar politicians and cops. the corcoran cross country team runs in the park. larry rutledge, an amazing and relentless caretaker and volunteer, is the unofficial godfather of the park.

    and we used to take the kids, when they were littler, for moonlight walks through the park when they had halloween parties.

    everyone has different tastes and preferences around our town. but i love elmwood park has much as any place in greater syracuse, and it is where i go to stand above the brook on a sunny morning, when i need some peace.


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