Los Angeles is undoubtedly home to some of the world’s best examples of Art Deco and midcentury modern architecture, and it claims houses and iconic landmarks designed by some of the word’s best and most famous: John Lautner, Frank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright. But even with all of the beautiful buildings — there are some real monstrosities.
We officially got rid of one of the best examples of hideousness this week with the opening of the Bloc, an open-air mall that replaces the Macy’s Plaza, which, in its former life, was an enclosed, covered fortress described by AIA Los Angeles as a “Brutalist bastard that shuts out the street, sunlight and fresh air.” It dubbed the plaza the “second-worst block in downtown.”
Let that serve as some inspiration and let us know: What do you think are the city’s ugliest buildings? What repulsive structure would you tear down? Stucco box or faux Italian villa, as long as it’s in Los Angeles, it’s fair game.
Here are some possible contenders:
Anything by Geoff Palmer, the developer responsible for the Orsini, the Lorenzo — massive, impenetrable apartment complexes, usually next to freeways, that everyone hates.
Wilshire La Brea: the 480-unit mixed-user at the southeast corner of Wilshire and La Brea, which opened only three years ago and mortified everyone, including the Larchment Buzz, which called it a “jumble of balconies and discordant frontal planes.”
Hollywood and Highland Center: A hulking mall designed to look like the Babylon set in DW Griffith’s 1916 epic Intolerance.
The Ralph’s complex at Hollywood and Western: Another unappealing Hollywood shopping center. It’s a big, beige blob that looks like a Vegas motel. And, it’s not just ugly, the parking situation is poorly designed.