Friday, February 04, 2005

From the File Marked "Unfortunate Buildings"

This building on Division, just east of Milwaukee, is a) ugly and b) completely inappropriate in scale given the smaller buildings surrounding it. They've begun repairing the concrete and painting the east side of it, but it's not helping much. The two good things are 1) the people living in the building's south side will get a lot of sun and 2) it took me a while to notice it. Posted by Hello


payton chung said...

it also kicks up a lotta wind, blocks morning sunlight from the little Nelson Algren Fountain plaza, and has an obscenely bad street-level presence, ignoring the corner entirely. I place 26% of the blame for that intersection's bad vibe on that one building. (31% goes to the cluster of fast food joints, parking lots, and post office directly to the west, on the land vacated by the elevated long ago. 8% goes to that Fifth Third Bank building. the rest goes to the poor subway station layout, the overly wide streets, and the subpar uses along Ashland.)

incidentally, the building created a lot of ethnic tension when it first opened: it's always been subsidized housing, and its opening brought the first Blacks into what was already a tense situation of Puerto Ricans edging out Poles.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the insight. It's interesting to think about how several things at once can contribute to a crappy piece of architecture -- including tensions within the community.