News Cut is still taking nominees for the most unimaginative and boring architecture in the Twin Cities (the original post explaining why we're doing this has scrolled off the page but can be found here).
I've set up a little slideshow to more quickly process the submissions.
If you have a nominee in the category, please send it by Monday. Perhaps we can have the playoffs in the category to coincide with the Celtics (one hopes)- Lakers NBA finals.
In another light, looking at the Cedar Riverside Apartments, aka 'crack-stack' an architect I once worked with said that it reminded her of the architecture in Brazil. That being said if you imagine several buildings together it might charm up that crack stack image in your minds eye.
I think peoples issues with Cedar Riverside Apartments is not the architecture but more of a negative association towards the individuals who live there.
I kinda like the apartments. I have had a number of friends that have lived there, one lucky enough to have a corner unit on the top floor of the tallest building and it had one of the most amazing, panoramic skyline views.
The building I have always had issues with is 225 South Sixth (formerly the First Bank Tower).
The Federal Reserve Building (image 5) is actually the previous Fed, built in the early 70s and obsolete in three decades. Its dramatic suspension design challenged contemporary building technology in a number of ways, causing problems with leaks, and the narrow footprint made it inefficient and not very attractive to subsequent lessors. This building is a good example of one that strives to make a landmark design statement (which I think it did) but fails functionally.
The Multifoods building (image 2) is the opposite. It is boring as architecture and pernicious as party of the City Center atrocity that helped ruin perhaps the best block in downtown Minneapolis. I remember reading that the architect was insensed that locals thought his design was terrible, since the building was designed to be all about function and operating efficiency, making the best use of new technology. He considered the building beautiful because it met the client's goals, even though it was a major blemish on the cityscape.
I forgot to add my nominee: those anonymous mini-malls that ring the Twin Cities with bricked facades and green-tiled endcap towers. The Home Depot/Wall-Mart big boxes, ugly as they are, at least make no pretense of beauty or accommodation to their surroundings. Somehow, buildings that pretend to do so seem even worse to me.
I already nominated the cedar riverside buildings, but I was visiting a friend last night and drove past that big green tiled thing over on University and Snelling. It looks like an inside-out bathroom!
Boring? Unimaginative? Hasn't anyone seen all the old (or current for that matter) public school buildings in Minneapolis? I can't speak for St. Paul, but I know that Minneapolis Public schools - those that have and have not been closed - look like state run psych wards (based on my hollywood inspired image of a psych ward of course). I was told that South high school was designed much like a prison in order to address the race riots of the 60's between Blacks and American Indians, and it looks like it; maybe nobody told the tax payers that the 60's are past and so too the race riots at South high school. With that said, I can't stop wondering - as has been the case before; it may be fair to use the word often - why people are so up in arms about urban youth coming into suburban schools and causing so much trouble...
As the elipsis indicates, I will stop my thought there for the sake of brevity and before I give the word rant a bad name. I just wanted to nominate Minneapolis Public school buildings for the category when suddenly I was attacked by passion and had to get out the old soap box; I hate to see it collect dust. Also, hopefully I gave a bit of proof that this survey (and many other seemingly worthless surveys for that matter) has meaning; even if for nothing other than simulating thought.
stimulating, not simulating
I think that the 'Green Tiled Building' on University and Snelling was an art project that the creative employees at Axeman did on lunch break.
No, people primarily hate the Crack Stacks (it is a complex after all) because it has always looked like the builders ran out of material half way up and started nailing car hoods to its exterior. The connotations of the people who live within do no thing to help its likability either. Surprised when an acquaintance mentioned that she did social work there I tagged along. The main lobby reeks of urine and I'm nearly positive that I caught a man masturbating next to the elevator. Let me just say that in the even that a fire alarm is pulled and everyone has to be evacuated where the building then implodes, no one is going to miss it.