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Ho ho ho! It’s that time of year again. Here’s JHK’s holiday classic: A Christmas Orphan.

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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JHK’s lost classic now reprinted as an e-book
Kindle edition only


 

Archive | Eyesore of the Month RSS feed for this section

December 2015

Damien Hurst 1

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 »

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November 2015

Sydney 1

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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October 2015

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 more »

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September 2015

Gardiner

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 »

Read More 9 Comments

August 2015

Anaheim artic

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 »

Read More 7 Comments

July 2015

church condo

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 »

Read More 20 Comments

June 2015

Pterodactyl-by-Eric-Owen-Moss-01

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 »

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May 2015

T stop2

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 »

Read More 13 Comments

April 2015

Kingdom-Tower 1

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 »

Read More 15 Comments

March 2015

Google 1

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 »

Read More 17 Comments

February 2015

Borg5

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 »

Read More 14 Comments

January 2015

Eyesore 1-15

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 »

Read More 9 Comments

December 2014

Lucas 1

Behold the grandiosity of the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art proposed for the Chicago lakefront. It is unclear exactly what it might contain besides the costumes and props for Lucas’s Star Wars cinema franchise.  The public relations bullshit cooked up to promote this roughly 30–story-tall monstrosity tells the tale in superlative bombast: The Lucas more »

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November 2014

Kansas

Behold the official reception hall of the Kansas Expo Center in Topeka, the state fairground. Heritage Hall, one of the oldest buildings in Kansas, has been retrofitted as a party shack enclosed between the convention center, Capital Plaza hotel, and a great American desert of parking lots. Curiously, they stuck a plastic portico on the sandstone more »

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October 2014

bollards

Behold the creeping bollards of Boston. These globules are found in front of the Tip O’Neill Federal Building on Causeway Street in Boston. Combine post 9/11 paranoia with the endemic American hatred of artistry, with the opportunity to money-grub in the trough of public works, and you end up with another parody of civilized life. Below, more »

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September 2014

Eyesore_09_2014

  Behold the new gerbil cage for children in Queensbury, New York. Notice that there are no children there. The reason: it is a completely unrewarding place to play. In fact, it was designed not for children but for lawyers in this lawsuit-happy land. In attempting remove every possible hazard to health and safety, they more »

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August 2014

Clark Ando 1

  Behold, the latest addition to the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass, by architect Tadao Ando. Add to your collection of sleek Modernist bowling trophies. The world has had enough of minimalism on steroids; it just doesn’t know it yet. It’s ironic, for sure, arising as it does out of such a maximalist culture more »

Read More 10 Comments

July 2014

July Eyesore

Behold the proposed new addition to the suite of glass boxes on Granville Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia. O Canada! Are you trying to out-do the stupidity and vulgarity of your neighbor to the south? Apart from the obvious perversity of cantilevering over the  historic Province House — an early legislative building — note the more »

Read More 11 Comments

June 2014

aqua4

Behold the Aqua Tower by architect Jeanne Gang, Chicago. Of course, the skyscraper is an obsolete building form because the ones we’ve already got will never be renovated in the coming era of resource and capital scarcity. But that doesn’t stop the developers and architects from creating new ones — especially at this climax moment more »

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May 2014

Yes!

     WTF ????  Behold the proposed  new public artwork for the Boulder, Colorado, Library. Which part is the “art?” you may ask yourself. Why, the grand affirmation Yes! Straight out of the Nike advertising playbook, this totemic gesture informs all Boulderites (Bouldarians? Boulderopolitans? Boulderholics?) that yes! they can… er… what…? Cross the six-laner safely? more »

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April 2014

Emerson

Behold the new Emerson College “complex” (s0-called) for television, film, and advertising production studies on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, designed by Thom Mayne of the firm Morphosis, which has been reviled on this site before for its techno-narcissistic archi-stunts. This one is as if the Jolly Green Giant  dropped a crate of seltzer bottles more »

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March 2014

Eyesore March 14_B

     Behold the new Health Center on Russell Street in Missoula, Montana — a demonstration that Murphy’s Law rules absolutely in American architecture and town planning. This is the back of the building; the front is oriented to the interior of the block where the parking is (don’t expect Happy Motoring to continue ten more »

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February 2014

Eyesore_Feb_2014

Woe and alack a day! A sign of the times in a hyper-turbo-techno-industrial economy rocking in the throes of meltdown, a.k.a. compressive deflationary contraction. Lo, what was once a dollar is now seventy-five cents. In another month, it’ll be fifty cents and perhaps they can sign up the celebrity “Fitty Cent” to shill for them. more »

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January 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

     Behold the stylish wastewater treatment plan in Durand, Wisconsin, 30 miles downstream from Eau Claire on the Chippewa River. Notice the interesting placement of the historical marker billboard with the blank planes of the wall, the single window, and the decorative logo — all very Zen gardenish. Of course, the real love was more »

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December 2013

Gehry Toronto

Behold this triple-header of 80-plus-story condo towers designed by Toronto hometown boy Frank Gehry for his place of birth (he’s lived in Los Angeles for decades).

Read More 12 Comments