Tuesday, August 07, 2007

When Boldness Goes Wrong

For all its supposed reputation as the most liberal major city in the U.S., San Francisco is the most conservative and prudish when it comes to architecture. The often celebrated "painted ladies"/Victorians have never been a favorite of mine, and I think the bungalows of Oakland or Pasadena are far more appealing by comparison.

Every now and then a more bold building manages to slip in. Though not nearly as offensive as the justifiably trashed as the hideous pink building that Julian Schnabel developed in the West Village, the new extension to the City College building on Valencia is not necessarily a sign of progress. It makes feel like I should be dressing up like Don Johnson and going out for mojitos. Okay, mojitos sound good, but I'll stick to the Ben Sherman look instead.
UPDATE: And since we're on the topic, how about the competition for San Francisco having the tallest building on the west coast? Though the image above is interesting, why not go back to the 1974 rendition from below of The Glass Tower from The Towering Inferno which confirmed that sometimes boldness does have its costs.

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At 4:45 PM, Blogger Gavin Elster said...

That building looks like a rejected model of the ADVENTURES THRU INNER SPACE lobby.

Does everything have to look like a crappy mini-mall?

At 6:39 PM, Blogger kusala said...

I'll say this: That SFCC building isn't the worst bit of architectural design I've ever seen.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Gavin - It does remind me of a bad mini-mall, circa 1985 in Tampa or Modesto.

Kusala - I'll agree it could be worse, Julian Schnabel's building for example.

At 11:29 PM, Blogger Bryce Digdug said...

A friend of mine, Pygmailia, was thrown off Monsanto's Adventures through Inner Space ride in Disneyland sometime around 1969 by screaming her head off at the approaching neutron.

San Francisco does have horrible downtown architecture. I was just in Minneapolis, and there is nary a bad building there.

At 11:44 PM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Monsanto! MONSANTO!!!!! That is the only thing more evil than the Bush/Reagan Dynasty. Monsanto OWNS the Bush/Reagan Dynasty. Monsanto is in your food. Monsanto is in your ass!!!!!

Yes, downtown SF has hideous architecture. The Marriott is bad Dallas architecture circa 1982.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger WAT said...

They wanna built the tallest building on the West Coast in San Pancho?

In such obvious earthquake country? ARE THEY NUTS??!! I don't care how much they retrofit and crap, that don't sound like such a good idea.

And it sounds somewhat inviting to terrorism too, as if San Fran needs any more iconic places to bomb and stuff.

I'm such an optimist I know...

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

Hey, WAT, we have a wacky reputationto uphold. When did SF ever do anything that made sense or was practical?

At 2:12 AM, Blogger Pod said...

that is hideous and wrong


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