"They were neither citadels nor churches, but frankly and beautifully office-buildings...."
See in text (Chapter I)
Notice the satirical tone of this observation about the novel’s setting. The narrator juxtaposes citadels and churches, the architectural masterpieces of Europe and the old world, to office-buildings, the achievement of the new world. Unlike citadels and churches, office-buildings lack majesty and grandeur. This suggests that U.S. culture and the U.S. itself lacks grandeur.