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11-year-old Jeff Greenaway hears his mom and dad argue one night after an office Christmas party. He infers from their garbled squabble that he is an orphan, found in a willow basket on the welcome mat outside their New York apartment. Thinking now that his parents are imposters, he steals away to Grand Central Station and buys a train ticket to Drakesville, Vermont, where he intends to start life all over again.
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Featured Eyesore of the Month

October 2015

James Howard Kunstler : October 5, 2015 11:03 am : Eyesore of the Month

Vancou

Hey, who left that stack of Fed-Ex boxes in the middle of downtown Vancouver? Wait a minute… that’s the proposed new Vancouver art museum designed by Swiss starchitects Herzog & de Meuron. Anyone who’s been through the Vancouver Airport knows that they are very into the “environmental look” there. In the building trades, that means lots of wood, because wood is “organic” and “natural.” It is of nature, and therefore stands for nature in the center of the horrible mechanistic city, with all its baleful glass-skinned boxes. Note, also, the miniature British Columbian forest around the base, a totemistic exercise to ward off the encroaching anti-nature of the surrounding city. The darn thing looks a bit top-heavy, though, as if the top three boxes are supported by stacked levels of…playing cards! Lots of theoretical people in the rendering, enjoying the “green space.” Experience actually suggests that public places enfronted by multi-laned motoring corridors will probably be shunned by casual droppers-by. Modernism lives… until the long emergency drives a stake through its snooty heart.

Thanks to the nearly a dozen people who rushed to send this nominee in: Michael King, Lorne Beaton, et. al.

13 Comments »

October 2015

James Howard Kunstler : October 5, 2015 11:03 am : Eyesore of the Month
Hey, who left that stack of Fed-Ex boxes in the middle of downtown Vancouver? Wait a minute… that’s the proposed new Vancouver art museum designed by Swiss starchitects Herzog & de Meuron. Anyone who’s been through the Vancouver Airport knows that they are very into the “environmental look” there. In the building trades, that means lots more »

September 2015

James Howard Kunstler : September 3, 2015 7:48 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold: the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston all pimped out with exciting bling! (Note the “gold” chain supporting the colorful whaddayacallit — five-armed ju-ju talisman? Hypnotic ass pillow?)  Here’s what the Gardner Museum Bulletin says about it:   Fenway Deity is part of the Garden Deities series created by Ken Smith. The large inflatable installation, with a more »

August 2015

James Howard Kunstler : August 4, 2015 12:54 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the Anaheim, CA,  Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC). It’s a LEED Platinum champeen! It is also running a $2 million operating deficit after opening earlier this year. Revenue was expected from naming rights, but so far no corporation has paid to have its name plastered on the end-wall. An average of 460 Metrolink and 300 more »

July 2015

James Howard Kunstler : July 3, 2015 10:16 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the condo renovation of the Holy Trinity German Church and Rectory in Boston’s South End designed by Finegold Alexander & Associates for developer New Boston Ventures. It was approved a few weeks ago by the Boston redevelopment agency. Granted, the task does raise the question: just how do you cram 33 condo units to a structure more »

June 2015

James Howard Kunstler : June 1, 2015 12:50 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the “Pterodactyl,” a combination parking garage and office structure designed by Eric Owen Moss for Culver City, California, To this observer, it’s more train wreck than prehistoric flying reptile. It’s also yet another demonstration of how buildings can be torqued and tweaked with computer-aided design (CAD) in order to produce maximum maintenance problems and the more »

May 2015

James Howard Kunstler : May 4, 2015 11:45 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the new Government Center Transit (“T”) stop in Boston, Mass., with the 1966-vintage “Brutalist” City Hall looming balefully in the background. What you see here is the artist’s computer rendering. See below for a photograph of the actual thing under construction. Thanks to Architecture blogger David Brussat for illuminating the failures of this humdinger: more »

April 2015

James Howard Kunstler : April 2, 2015 11:45 am : Eyesore of the Month
I waited until April 2 because this is no joke. Behold the proposed new Kingdom Tower for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — at one full kilometer in height, about twice the size of New York’s new Freedom Tower. The  Kingdom Tower comprises 252 floors of mixed market apartments, hotel rooms, and offices. It is an axiom that more »

March 2015

James Howard Kunstler : March 2, 2015 11:33 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold the proposed new Google headquarters, Mountain View (Silicon Valley), CA. Google, of course, has enough walking around money in its deep pockets to indulge in the most fantastic architectural status stunt — meaning that the diminishing returns of great wealth and cleverness will bite extra hard. This, uh, structure, by Bjark Ingles and Thomas more »

February 2015

James Howard Kunstler : February 2, 2015 12:51 pm : Eyesore of the Month
Here come the borgs! Introducing the new US Federal Courthouse in Salt lake City designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners. They’ve really caught that old security state spirit in a building that looks uncannily like the computer server that contains your credit record, your tax filings, your phone log, your internet purchase trail, the drone photos more »

January 2015

James Howard Kunstler : January 5, 2015 11:19 am : Eyesore of the Month
Behold, another 80-story hotel / condo tower by the industrious Chicago architect Jeanne Gang for a site on the south bank of the Chicago River. I suggest this new style be labeled “architwerkture,” since it looks like a digitized schematic representation of something Miley Cyrus might do on an awards show. The project is a more »
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