Eyesore of the Month
June 9, 2003 10:04 AM   Subscribe

Eyesore of the Month is a monthly look at architectural monstrosities. Sample critique: "A total lack of skill meets a total rejection of history. The result: all the charm of a packing crate and none of the structural integrity." [via Good Experience]
posted by kirkaracha (30 comments total)
They're all pretty funny, but the "Batman building" is especially good, and this corner store is wonderful, featuring a mural that's "a vision of amazing weirdness" and a giant American flag that "helps us remember what country we're in."
posted by kirkaracha at 10:09 AM on June 9, 2003

Ooh. I've got one for them. There's a restaurant in Seattle, in Wallingford on 45th that looks like you'd need reservations and a sports coat to get in. The exterior is all mirrored glass and the building is beautiful and modern. Then you crest the hill and see the sign identifying the business. Taco Time.
posted by vito90 at 10:24 AM on June 9, 2003

His commentary is fantastic!

"Few Americans realize that America had its own Soviet era, seen here in the Low Common Denominator Modernism so popular in the late 20th century."
posted by witchstone at 10:43 AM on June 9, 2003

Criticism from someone whose discerning sense of aesthetics compensates for an embarassing lack of skill at digital photography.
posted by wigu at 10:45 AM on June 9, 2003

This guy must be tons of laughs at a party...

"These warmed over appetizers truly symbolize the lack of thought America puts in to parties nowadays and undoubtedly will lead directly to our destruction at the hands of invaders. Most of us, of course, will welcome the take over as we could not handle one more mingy bacon and cheese potato wedge without screaming out for the sweet night of death."
posted by zaack at 11:17 AM on June 9, 2003

The rest of his website is an eyesore, but yes, these are pretty funny. I like when he makes fun of the fat person.
posted by drobot at 11:24 AM on June 9, 2003

A local eyesore. Looks like a turtle kipping on its back. Or like a bloated dead cow, slain by anthrax.
posted by Cerebus at 11:39 AM on June 9, 2003

If he dislikes Saratoga Springs so damn much, why doesn't he move?
posted by briank at 11:47 AM on June 9, 2003

My favorite in there was this critique:

"In a perfect world its function would be a poodle euthenasia center."
posted by bclark at 11:48 AM on June 9, 2003

Well, he certainly likes to criticize a lot of biuldings, people too for that matter.
I am curious to see what the opposite of the eyesore of the month list looks like, but I find searching his site is causing a severe feeling of nasuea.

If he dislikes Saratoga Springs so damn much, why doesn't he move?

Good question. He probably doesn't hate it. There is more to the area than what he deems as an eyesore. Maybe he should focus on the building he likes, might make him a happier person.
posted by a3matrix at 12:14 PM on June 9, 2003

The TITLE on all these pages proclaims James Howard Kunstler to be the Eyesore of the Month, yet the pictures are of buildings. What's up with that?
posted by kindall at 12:22 PM on June 9, 2003

They're all pretty funny, but the "Batman building" is especially good

When I lived in Nash-vegas we referred to it as the "Batmobuilding", one of my friends used to make a "hook 'em horns"/p-funk hand gesture when ever we talked about how insane it looked and would quote from the Breakfast Club: "you fuck with the bull, you get the horns!"
posted by Pollomacho at 12:58 PM on June 9, 2003

Excellent link. Ugly buildings are life-sapping.
posted by blissbat at 1:44 PM on June 9, 2003

It's funny. As an architect and amateur urbanist I enjoyed reading the Geography of Nowhere but if I had come across this web site first, I don't think I ever would have picked up the book. While I enjoy a number of the "eyesore of the month" comments and agree with most of them, the whole thing smacks too much of bitter old man with nothing positive to offer. Wait a sec... I must be talking about myself.

But thanks for the link Mr Kirk!
posted by Dick Paris at 1:49 PM on June 9, 2003

A site for sore eyes! I really liked his critique of the horse painting.
posted by coelecanth at 2:03 PM on June 9, 2003 [1 favorite]

He uses the word "mingy" too much.
posted by paddbear at 2:20 PM on June 9, 2003

I'll ditto the "oh look another self-absorbed, hypercritical, omniloathing 20-something spitting on everything within five feet" sentiment. I mean sure they're generally ugly buildings (when he's actually talking about buildings), but it seems clear that there's very little this man considers worthy of his illustrious review. The commentary on the mural was just silly, and his main point seemed to be that it was just putting a bunch of things the plebes consider to be lovely in one picture. And maybe it is, but (again) it seems like he's more got a problem with "oh look another Average American who likes horses, lakes and sunsets."

One last example: "One imagines a dark warren of off-gassing carpets, empty pizza boxes, and a cat box that hasn't been changed in a month and a half." I really think his poison and vitriol are more for the people than for the architecture. To fuck the man with his own penis, I find the attitude nauseatingly common, and his incessant use of five-dollar words just makes it worse: one imagines a sad, pallid man, alone in his apartment, Djarum blacks smoldering in the ashtray while he masturbates uncomfortably in his black turtleneck.
posted by kavasa at 3:51 PM on June 9, 2003

awesome link, kirkaracha
related book i recently read: suburban nation
(further well-deserved indictment of the automobile and the failure of planning in the USA)
posted by 11235813 at 3:56 PM on June 9, 2003

And furthermore in re: the mural, you can't win! You either sit in your house and try to watch TV, for which he'll hate you. Or you work for WalMart (which has ruined local economies, so he'll hate you). Or you run your own little local store and try to make it more attractive (using your unrefined aesthetic for which, of course, he'll hate you). Man, whatever.
posted by kavasa at 3:57 PM on June 9, 2003

Pretty soon he can add the OCAD extension, though it is a pretty good use of space.
posted by bobo123 at 5:01 PM on June 9, 2003

Wow, that's the biggest suspended loaf of scrapple I've ever seen!
posted by tss at 6:22 PM on June 9, 2003

There's also "The Pride of UW".
posted by emmling at 7:21 PM on June 9, 2003

In Brisbane, we have our own version of this. Say what you will, at least it makes a break in the skyline and is a pleasant change from the otherwise boring square-edged, flat-topped roofs everywhere else. The building ended up looking like this as part of a refurbishment project and was deliberately designed to be gotham-esque.
posted by dg at 7:50 PM on June 9, 2003

Except, kavasa, if you look at the rest of his site it appears he is a 60ish, possibly married man. I don't know if that makes it worse or not.
posted by zaack at 8:30 PM on June 9, 2003

emming: Sieg Hall?!? Really? 'Cause that's almost as bad as Bay Areans.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:49 PM on June 9, 2003

Mmmm. Scrapple.

After looking through all of the months, what strikes me as the saddest thing of all is that these examples are not rare in Amerika. Spending most of my time in France, I do have the occasional same view of ugliness but, in general, the built environment is much less objectionable. Not always beautiful -- something about it just works. There's a certain pleasant background that makes the big and little ugly bits a little less ugly. What's interesting about this, which Kunstler does touch upon in his rants, is that it is more of an urban problem than an architecture problem.
posted by Dick Paris at 10:30 PM on June 9, 2003

The real mothership...
posted by Bag Man at 6:10 PM on June 10, 2003

The mothership on a good day, but sun only make reveals it to be more ugly.
posted by Bag Man at 6:14 PM on June 10, 2003

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