Editors of California Home + Design recently spoke to a bunch of architects (and other people with opinions) about which "eye-searingly awful" buildings around the country they'd like to see demolished, and why. The 10 best responses are below.
1. Architect John Lum on Michael Graves' Portland Building (above) in Portland, Ore.: "High kitsch, with meaningless gestures rendered in a cartoon-like manner."
2. Architect Hope Alexander on Barbie's Dream House: "For those of a certain age this 'building' did more aesthetic mind-twisting than any other structure in America. Bring in the miniature wrecking ball.”
3. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Meadowlands Xanadu in East Rutherford, N.J.: "It’s by far the ugliest damn building in New Jersey, and maybe America.”
4. Architect Daniel Ewald on the Marriott Marquis Hotel in San Francisco: "A horribly cheap imitation of an art deco top constructed in reflective glass and grafted onto a generic tower.”
5. Architect Neal Schwartz on Daniel Libeskind's Ascent building in Covington, Ky.: "Just when I thought Daniel Libeskind's crass recycling of his single and dubious architectural idea had reached its apotheosis, I come across this 'gem.'"
6. Schwartz on the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.: "(It's the) poster child for quantity over quality."
7. Alexander on the Trump Tower in NYC: "Donald Trump can’t seem to drop this inane Obama 'birther' issue, so perhaps the Trump Tower should be dropped instead. Who would really miss it? You’re fired indeed.”
8. Architect Tom McElroy on the New Mint in San Francisco: "A waste of prime real estate that’s encased behind barbed wire. What's the point? What exactly is going on in there? Send in the wrecking ball!”
9. Ewald on the Ziggurat Building in West Sacramento, Calif.: "A 10-story office building in Sacramento? That says it all.”
10. Architect Rebecca Rudolph on 8500 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles: "Maybe we would let the building stand as a monument to ugliness."
Read more about this topic in California Home + Design.