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Preview: Reviled Architecture

By The Editors

October 11, 2012   

We've all seen Boston's city hall, and we've all got an opinion about it. The haters believe that it's a symbol of Boston city government's insanity, and the lovers think that it's a historic building worth our attention. Today, I think it's a great example of a cement, sculptural building and we should probably value it more than hating it. I'll probably change my mind tomorrow. I think that is the type of relationship most of us have with city hall. I've even heard multiple people tell an urban legend that the only other building designed by that architect was an insane asylum that made the inhabitants crazier. This is not true at all, as you can tell from the number of works on the website of Kallmann, McKinnell & Wood.

In this month's Journal, Brian Sirman will explore the wider world of disputed architecture. Most styles of architecture have been hated at some point, it's not just Brutalist cement. Pruitt Igoe is an example of brick and concrete construction housing that have won no friends. The Pan Am building takes the cake for rationally planned, international style towers. Some of the buildings we've hated in the past, we've learned to love, like the Eiffel Tower, the Washington Monument, or the Guggenheim in NY.

What buildings do you hate? Why do you hate them?

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