Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Eyesore of the Month
If you're not a fan of modernism, the Eyesore of the Month might be for you. Published by James Howard Kunstler, author of Geography of Nowhere, the feature singles out what it believes are ugly examples of new buildings. Suburban eyesores sometimes make the list, but the feature's biggest targets are often museums and office buildings designed by modernists. This month, the Eyesore blasts the Akron Art Museum in Akron, Ohio, calling it something that looks like a "mechanical alligator snarfing down a Beaux Arts post office." I read "Geography of Nowhere" and liked it, but to me, Kunstler is a new urbanist who wishes American architecture would return to 1922 and stay there. Forever. But maybe I'm wrong. What do you think? (Photo courtesy of Eyesore of the Month, JamesKunstler.com)


Midwest Product said...

Has Kunstler gotten around to highlighting Centre Village yet?

Todd Melby said...

I'm not sure. Why do think Centre Village should be highlighted? Is Centre Village the tower in downtown Minneapolis?

Anonymous said...

Here's their website:


Like several buildings downtown that are basically square Jenga towers of concrete blocks stacked one upon another with flat, blank windows, people crammed in together side by side in identical cells of charmless,characterless structures that have no feature of interest or enlightenment, and very little thought, distinction or inspiration
from the architect...

Some definitely qualify as eyesores
or your basic soul deadening, mind numbing, mass produced, visual pollution, such as The Towers,
La Rive, Skyscape, and others...

Think someone locally identifies
the hideous in architecture on occassion in print...certainly the "endless bridge" projecting out of the back of the Guthrie, the Wing
at the public library, and as some
have said the "Evil Rock em Sock em" robot head that is the Walker
all qualify.

Few criticise such structures with the intelligence, wit, and the enraged yet devastatingly
accurate precision of Larry
Millett in his AIA Guide to the Twin Cities...

Of the Fifth Street Center in St. Paul LM says:

"This office tower originally home to a bank, offers one outstanding feature in the form of an elegant banking hall (vacant as of 2007) on the skyway level. The multiblock parking ramp to the rear, along Sixth St. is another story. An architectural atrocity in raw concrete and Cor-Ten steel, it is the ugliest object in all of downtown. It's especially depressing when you consider that one of St. Paul's finest old skyscrapers was destroyed to make way for this dreck."

Bill Lindeke said...

It is rather inelegant?