My two posts from Florida reveal the banality of what passes for architecture in much of the U.S. As Allan Temko once remarked, "There's architecture, and there's building."
Architecture is thoughtful, deliberate, and ideally beautiful while serving a practical function. Building is merely purposeful, and any aesthetic or experiential concerns are peripheral to the task.
That most of America's buildings fall into the category of having been "built" rather than "designed" seems to me almost tragic, because I believe that beauty elevates the human condition while ugliness diminishes it, especially where the built environment is concerned. To care too little for the aesthetic quality of buildings - those which surround us, and with which we surround ourselves - seems to indicate an emptiness that goes far deeper than mere surface. This stuff is important. Beauty feeds the soul.