Five Iconic Landmarks That Have Somehow Never Been Destroyed in Film

Trouble never truly arrives in a disaster flick until a recognizable landmark is ravaged. But for once, let's leave the White House alone and try fictionally destroying these five iconic landmarks.

Every Friday, I’m compiling a list of five things that meet one criterion. “What is that criterion,” you ask? Well, it’s going to change every week and you’re just going to have to try and keep up.

This week…

Five Iconic Landmarks That Have Somehow Never Been Destroyed in Film

With the recent opening of the comically tall Burj Dubai Tower, you know disaster movie writers around the world suddenly stopped trying to think of even more methods by which to wreck the White House and/or the Hollywood sign and instead rushed to sell one-note scripts featuring “the destruction of that one giant landmark in Dubai — the one that nobody’s taken out, yet.

But why are they chasing this brand new brass ring when there is a perfectly good collection of never-been-destroyed-on-film iconic landmarks just sitting there, on the shelf?

St Lous arch

5. The Gateway Arch

Admittedly, whatever we could think to do with the giant metal arch outside of St. Louis would probably yield more “symbolism of an overwhelming fictional invasion of the continental United States” than “serious blockbuster destruction” but still, the 45-year-old Gateway to the West needs to go down in a big bad way. If our attackers had any sense of humor, they would play giant-sized croquet on it with a boulder.


4. The Parthenon

This one is rather inexcusable – the thing’s already partly destroyed! Come on, malevolent forces! By reducing the meager scraps of the most important civilization in our world’s history to rubble, you would effectively shame us in a way we couldn't imagine! No matter the fashion of destruction that befalls this giant Greek edifice, we are really asking for it.


3. Stonehenge

While this is another landmark (like the Arch) whose destruction wouldn’t be all that extended or visually impressive, the weight of seeing such a visually striking and powerful part of human history knocked down like a clumsy infant’s building blocks would be rather demoralizing, in my opinion.

Also: if you got all those rocks out of the way, then you’d have some pretty great English real estate on your hands. Think ahead, attacking alien forces – you could make some serious money if you play this right.

Grand Canyon

2. The Grand Canyon

Truthfully, I don’t really know how one would go about “destroying” a giant rock chasm but… I’d say one of the “Earth starts getting buckwild” Roland Emmerich pictures should have at least partially indulged us, by now. Maybe the Hoover Dam melts as a result of an ocean of lava erupting from beneath the Colorado River? And then the molten rock fills up the entire canyon and then cools and then the whole canyon is suddenly just desert? I don’t know; just spitballin’ here.

Space Needle

1. The Space Needle

I had to check and re-check several times to make sure that this was actually true. How is it that something that is both visually distinctive and the most definitive landmark in an entire region of the county has never been attacked by aliens or the Reds or an angry Mother Earth? I can’t believe or understand it.

It’s called THE SPACE NEEDLE. Why wouldn’t the inexplicably hostile extraterrestrials or scorned surviving Space Race Soviet sympathizers first fly to Seattle and send a very clear message about just who is in control of everything outside of Earth’s atmosphere? As penance for overlooking the Space Needle for so long, I think the Space Needle should now officially serve as the most important structure in all disaster and sci-fi movies — like the most coveted item in an intergalactic game of Capture The Flag.

Justin Brown

Justin Brown is an artist and writer living in Virginia. He channels most of his enthusiasm into making things for his online art shop, Artness! by Justin Brown. You can keep up to date with him, his worldly adventures, and his dogs by following him on Instagram and on Facebook