Writing in the Journal of the American Institute of Architects in 1928, Charles Cheney proposed a scientific analysis of the relative “beauty” of various cities based on their architecture. Paris, “the most beautiful city in the world,” scored quite high–90%. American cities didn’t do so well. Washington led with a 25% beauty rating, while Philadelphia rated 15% and Boston 12%. Chicago? 8%.
Chicago architect Edward Probst, was unimpressed. “I think there is a question,” he said to a local reporter, “of whether or not Mr. Cheney is qualified to pass judgment.”