In this paper, we proposed a new building recognition method named subregion’s multiscale gist feature (SM-gist) extraction and corresponding columns information based dimensionality reduction (CCI-DR). Our proposed building recognition method is presented as a two-stage model: in the first stage, a building image is divided into 4 × 5 subregions, and gist vectors are extracted from these regions individually. Then, we combine these gist vectors into a matrix with relatively high dimensions. In the second stage, we proposed CCI-DR to project the high dimensional manifold matrix to low dimensional subspace. Compared with the previous building recognition method the advantages of our proposed method are that (1) gist features extracted by SM-gist have the ability to adapt to nonuniform illumination and that (2) CCI-DR can address the limitation of traditional dimensionality reduction methods, which convert gist matrices into vectors and thus mix the corresponding gist vectors from different feature maps. Our building recognition method is evaluated on the Sheffield buildings database, and experiments show that our method can achieve satisfactory performance.