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Beh0ld, this humdinger, The Wrapper” (artist’s rendering) designed by architect Eric Own Moss for Culver City, California, a dreary gerrymandered backwater of Los Angeles under the LAX flight-path. Is the building wearing a straight-jacket to prevent it from hurting itself? It demonstrates that the architecture “community” won’t tire of playing self-referential computer games with large objects that the public has to live with for generations. Developer Frederick Samitaur Smith told The LA Times it’s been repeatably delayed given the difficulty gaining city approvals for the structure, because of its unique exoskeleton. What a surprise! Notice the anticipated pedestrian activity around the building’s base. Makes Blade Runner look like Jimmy Stewart’s Bedford Falls. Happy New Year everybody!

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

16 Responses to “January 2017”

  1. davidreese2 January 3, 2017 at 7:34 am #

    I’m at a loss for words.

  2. Greg Knepp January 3, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

    If you strip away the outer bindings (what else could they be called?) you might have an acceptable, albeit unremarkable, bit of modern architecture.

    • AKlein January 4, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

      “Bindings” describes them quite well. It also has the added advantage of giving a hint (whiff) of S&M, which is quite appropriate.

  3. AKlein January 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    It’s fairly obvious that we desperately need a few years of serious deprivation to clear out this kind of nonsense. The fact that this crap gets even a scintilla of mental houseroom shows we have way too much ease. Truly, this goes beyond humor. It is shameful.

  4. jayrome January 4, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

    Bondage & Discipline Building? Oooo it says spank me! Spank a little harder, you filthy beast!
    Anyway… vines grow well on the “bindings” and should completely enshroud this.
    The architect could use a little spanking for cobbling together this pile of turds! I hope nobody lives down wind of this place?

  5. DavidLFleck January 4, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

    I agree it is a hideous building, but I disagree about your characterization of Culver City.

    It is not “a dreary gerrymandered backwater of Los Angeles under the LAX flight-path.” First, it is about 5 miles from the LAX flight path. So that’s just fake news. Second, over the last couple decades they have made the downtown area quite nice. (I mean it’s not Paris, but considering where they started, they have done a great job.) It’s walkable. The sidewalks are wide and have beautiful trees. There are lots of retail establishments and restaurants on both sides of the streets. And the Culver Hotel is a renovated gem from 1924. One of the old red cars used to pass by here but now the new exposition line light rail from downtown LA to Santa Monica opened a few blocks away. Check out this view: https://www.google.com/maps/@34.0238097,-118.3946249,3a,75y,178.63h,80.07t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sx6ezm-DnANJ042MdF7aIhQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

    Maybe you drew your conclusions from the immediate vicinity of the new light rail station where the EOTM will be built. For that area, your description might be correct…except for the LAX flight path. That is still fake news.

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  6. Zarko Straadi January 5, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    Caption contest!

    “Apparently, no one told Mega-Spiderman that with great power comes great responsibility.”

    “Look at that, kids! We’ve got to be getting close! The World’s Largest Roll of Electrical Tape has to be right around here somewhere…”

    “No, no Mr. Flint, it’s not supposed to look like that! I got up to go to the bathroom and my cat started playing with the touch-tablet, then managed to click ‘Send!'”

    “The way things are going these days, even office buildings wanna tie one on once in awhile.”

  7. swhite January 9, 2017 at 8:59 am #

    Just a note of support for your eyesores series, which I do check monthly.

    I don’t feel like I am architecturally sensitive enough to pass judgement on the eyesore-ness of some of your candidates, but I must say that when the January 2017 building popped up on my computer, the first words that popped into my head were, “What the h*** is that.”

    So there we have it, my personal baseline as it were.

  8. mow January 9, 2017 at 5:15 pm #

    F- 5 tornado vs. theme park roller coaster.

  9. malthuss January 14, 2017 at 3:56 pm #


  10. RobRhodes January 22, 2017 at 1:59 am #

    Maybe they’re planning to do really poor construction of the glass building and this is the artists rendering of the expected bad duct tape job to ‘repair’ the leaking building?

    Will the units that have a view of nothing but the duct tape cost extra?

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  11. twomartinilunch January 28, 2017 at 1:35 pm #

    gerrymandered backwater? That is a bit strong.
    Culver City has two amazing museums: The Museum of Jurassic Technology and the Center for Land Use Interpretation. CLUI could use your support.

  12. Frankiti February 3, 2017 at 5:35 pm #

    “Clearly, it symbolizes, rather portentously, how even the mundane, dare I say boring, government commissioned architecture is strangled and stunted by California bureaucratic red tape. Making boring daring”

  13. norecovery February 3, 2017 at 8:36 pm #

    Here’s a new building proposed for downtown Los Angeles. It’s the most hideous design I’ve ever seen.


  14. Ricechex February 6, 2017 at 1:31 am #

    Really awful.

  15. RobH March 6, 2017 at 6:26 am #

    I feel those binding should be barbed wire
    It reminds me of the Amnesty candle logo

    Maybe it is the idea that the occupants are having to be bound in somehow?

    Quite a few eyesores of the month are just silly zigzag shapes etc
    That one somehow really is quite unpleasant
    Claustrophobic to look at

    Top eyesore ?

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