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Featured Eyesore of the Month

August 2016

James Howard Kunstler : August 2, 2016 9:58 am : Eyesore of the Month

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Behold the new Easton, Pennsylvania, city hall, yet another dismal composition of blank masonry walls and tinted glass curtain claddings for that perfect despotic government effect. Note how its demeanor resembles the attitude of a prison chain gang guard. See below the old Easton city hall, a 1920s beaux arts beauty (and the tallest building in town) connoting beauty, virtue, and aspiration. It still stands a block away, though sold and repurposed for general office space.

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The new city hall comes complete with an adjoining massive parking deck (below) — a guaranteed killer of street life. Local Easton urban design activist Dennis Lieb says: “There is uniform contempt among the general public here for both these structures, but as usual the emperor’s new clothes syndrome persists in polite circles.”

Eyesore3

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Eyesore2

August 2016

James Howard Kunstler : August 2, 2016 9:58 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the new Easton, Pennsylvania, city hall, yet another dismal composition of blank masonry walls and tinted glass curtain claddings for that perfect despotic government effect. Note how its demeanor resembles the attitude of a prison chain gang guard. See below the old Easton city hall, a 1920s beaux arts beauty (and the tallest building more »

July 2016

James Howard Kunstler : July 3, 2016 10:35 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. Observe the interesting relationship between the incoherent building and the freeway on-ramp, with the mediating embellishment of chain-link fence. A better visual metaphor for the mechanized brutality of the mid-20th century would be hard to find. Yet, one might ask: does it make the city more »
KFC Black

June 2016

James Howard Kunstler : June 2, 2016 10:51 am : Eyesore of the Month
     Megaphone to distant alien civilizations? No, just a decommissioned Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket on San Francisco’s Geary Boulevard. Rather than scrap it, they transformed it into “street art.” (Probably would have been cheaper to take it down.) Geary Boulevard is one of the more remarkably depressing thoroughfares in urban America, considering that the more »
Eyesore May_16

May 2016

James Howard Kunstler : May 2, 2016 2:46 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the new addition to San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art by the Norwegian architecture firm, Snøhetta, opening in two weeks. Thanks for yet another mystical genius innovation in building form, lending the institution the look of a collapsed Japanese paper lantern with moth holes. Note that the genius crumpled fiberglass cladding is guaranteed to trap more »
April Eyesore 1

April 2016

James Howard Kunstler : April 2, 2016 11:09 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold  the winner of eVolo Magazine’s 2016 Skyscraper Competition. I know… “Say, what…?” you say. This latest exercise in techno-narcissism by trendster architects Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu imagines the massive excavation of New York’s Central Park and the re-fashioning of its bedrock into a fantasy sunken wilderness landscape with a 1000-foot high glass wall around the whole more »
Eyesore Mar 16A

March 2016

James Howard Kunstler : March 4, 2016 11:13 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold! The Raptor has landed! Hail Santiago Calatrava’s World Trade Center Transportation Hub, with its grand opening this month. Starchitecture’s latest bowling trophy is less huge (yuge-uh!) than it looks. Check out the scale of construction vehicles at it’s beak end (or is that cloaca?) Cost $4-plus billion. It is not, by the way, New York more »
Evolution+Tower

February 2016

James Howard Kunstler : February 2, 2016 10:58 am : Eyesore of the Month
Support this blog by visiting Jim’s Patreon Page! Behold the Evolution Tower in Moscow, the clever DNA-themed behemoth joining the other bowling trophies in the Russian Capital’s jazzed-up Trade Center district skyline. It will be interesting to see how they clean all those curvey windows. Techno-narcissistic building stunts of this kind signal the end of an more »
Eyesore Jan 2

January 2016

James Howard Kunstler : January 4, 2016 9:37 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold, the renovated exterior of the Peterson Automotive Museum under construction in Los Angeles. We build these horrifying objects because we can. They are enabled by computer aided design (CAD) and the computer aided fabrication of modular construction materials. Sounds like a good deal, huh? Except the diminishing returns of technology never sleep, and in more »
Damien Hurst 1

December 2015

James Howard Kunstler : December 3, 2015 10:40 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the proposed new headquarters for “artist” Damien Hirst’s new one-man gallery (i.e. Museum gift shop)  in Lambeth, south London, just west of Waterloo station. As with so many contemporary Gotcha buildings, it seems as though we’ve seen this one a dozen times before because it’s so original. It would replace an ugly five story apartment building that more »
Sydney 1

November 2015

James Howard Kunstler : November 4, 2015 12:22 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the stylish new Dr Chau Chak Wing Building at the University of Technology Sydney (Australia) by starchitect Frank Gehry. Every college has to have its Gehry. This one appears to be a stack of old-fashioned brown paper grocery bags, or something like that. Here’s the catch: it will never be renovated. It will have one more »
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