Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Guest mrnyc

what's your fav bad ohio architecture?

Recommended Posts

i was checking out cranky blogger 'transfer' and his website as he chronicles bad architecture around new york city. imo most of his choices so far are more boring than bad. still, it's a kinda cool site to check out if yr interested (has a list of hyperlinks to all the top architecture firms too along with a lot of off-topic bloggy stuff):

 

http://www.usemenow.com/web-log/

 

so now i'm wondering what is your favorite ohio-based bad architecture? first thing that comes to my mind is any of the old bell telephone buildings (not just in ohio but in every city). yeesh those are always terrible. the bad 80's-era sohio/bp building also comes to mind.

 

hit me back with your bad favorites!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not quite new to the forum, the topic just interested me so I registered.

 

I don't think I'm alone is stating the along with some of the awesome architecture our state has, we have some buildings that fell by the wayside. My personal favorite ugly building would be the former Ameritrust tower in Cleveland. The building itself is pretty awful, but when placed in comparison to the stunning rotunda that faces Euclid the building looks that much worse. A few others that come to mind that I'll list:

 

-A few of the state office towers in Columbus (I apologize their names escape me at the moment)

-The Rhodes Tower at Cleveland State

-The Cleveland Justice Center

-The Fifth-Third HQ in Cincinnati

-The Riverview Towers complex on W. 25th in Cleveland (I know any Public Housing project is kind of a cheap shot, as none of them come to mind as an example of good architecture) More than anything I'd love to see that one come down to complement the improvements to the Market Square area of Ohio City

 

In response to the original post, I don't find the BP building to be that bad. It could have been much, much worse had they not opted for the step-down effect on the crown; that change in design improved the building ten fold.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
so now i'm wondering what is your favorite ohio-based bad architecture? first thing that comes to my mind is any of the old bell telephone buildings (not just in ohio but in every city). yeesh those are always terrible.

 

You're kidding, right? If not, I must ephatically disagree. Even if you don't like Art Deco (which it seems you don't) you have to recognize the artistry and attention to detail that those buildings display.

 

I just have to think that you haven't given them a chance. Take a closer look and maybe you'll change your mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldnt even say BP is all that bad. In its context i think it is (compared with Key and Terminal Tower) and that brown color is awful.

 

I really only like a few art deco skyscrapers, they have to be really tall since thats what the design elements of them call for.

 

The worst one in Cleveland i feel is the CSU tower. That thing is awful. It reminds me of a prison rather than an education institution.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh no not the beautiful old "superman" deco building on huron--sorry! i love that building. i meant the newer phone company buildings from the 60'-70's.

 

class deco is perfect---but 80's "revival" deco is bad (bp tower). true the stepped down crown helps a little but overall its an eyesore to me. i'd rather they left the two older buildings on the square and built that elsewhere. just my opinion of course.

 

also, another example of an eyesore is the generic and just bad mcdonald investments building.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about the Ameritrust building on Euclid and 9th? Yuck.

Not the Cleveland Trust temple, the addition they put on. I'm pretty sure it has been empty for over a decade.

 

Was that part of I.M. Pei's erieview project?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't consider BP to be neo-deco. It's definitely PoMo, and I'd say one of the better examples of it. However, I've never heard anyone say it's one of their favorites.

 

Now Key Tower is definitely neo-deco, with its height, setbacks and limestone color.

 

Sounds like your original post is referring to what I call those "jet age" buildings that use a lot of concrete "buttressing" or give the appearance that they do. A good example of this in Dayton would be the Miami Valley Bldg:

 

day-s8.jpg

 

Another would be the hideous Admiral Benbow Hotel, my nominee for the ugliest building in Dayton.

 

There's a great example on the corner of Stanley & Kuntz, it's the headquarters of an automotive supplier. Some of you might be familiar. Unfortunately I don't have a pic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Admiral Benbow is a real dog, esp considering the context. The best thing about it is the retail space at street level in the adjacent parking garage (the space where Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers is)...

 

Dayton has alot of dogs. I think the Prestige Plaza/Dayco highrise near the Dayton Mall is a pretty awful. Great site for a high rise, but the building just doesnt hack it.

 

There are alot real sucky spec buildings, too, like brown brick ones just south of I-675 between the interchange with 75 and the OH 725 exit. I can think of a few more, but most are mercifully hidden away in industrial and/or office parks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^

I wouldn't consider the Dayco Building a highrise actually, but it is ugly. To it's credit though, they just did some exterior renovations and it looks much better with the new color scheme.

 

Admiral Benbow is getting ready to be leveled, so that will be gone soon.

 

For me when it comes to uglies, 4 buildings come to mind right off the bat.

 

1. Kettering Tower - this building is a joke, especially for a city's tallest.

2. Miami Valley Tower (pictured above) - Man, get rid of those white columns.

3. Kroger World Headquarters in Cincy - This building and it's glass looks like a different color in every angle or photograph I've ever seen. I still don't know what color it is.

4. Federated Building in Cincy - Thank god this building wasn't taller than it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3. Kroger World Headquarters in Cincy - This building and it's glass looks like a different color in every angle or photograph I've ever seen. I still don't know what color it is.

Remember when this building was painted multiple colors?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Kroger building had aqua blue spandrel glass panels. Really "50s" looking.

 

The Ameritrust building in the pix above. I notice it had some sort of precast panel curtain wall system, with these rounded window edges. An interesting design (tho dated), but it seems the top and bottom could have been designed better.

 

For really sucky in Cleveland would be the Eirieview urban renewal complex (I guess thats what its called). A dead expanse of late modern office blocks with a fairly hard and banal exterior landscaping. The buildings are banal enough not to rise to true suckyness (like the Celebrezze Federal building, which is a correct, tho bland, "Mies Box")....

....except for the tall big black skyscraper that sort of looks like the Kettering Tower in Dayton or the old First National Bank bldg in Louisville, until one notices the really poor design/ integration of the fenestration with the curtain wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That second tallest in Toledo is hideous (Hytower or something?) It looks like a Rhodes Tower knock-off, which is just horrifying.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

for columbus there are too many :lol: .

 

midland (looks like dayton's river valley tower)

rhodes

aep

nationwide 1

the little courthouse (the big one isn't too great either)

continental building small.jpg

ohio historical society

grant hospital (destroyed)

lincoln and morrill(the osu towers)

motorists insurance

hyatt regency

 

leveque(just kidding)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On a rainy or gray day in Cleveland (there are at least 4 or 5 a year) that Ameritrust building will depress you by just looking at it.

The pictures above is probably the best I have seen it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a new nomination,

 

the KS Engineering and Science Bldg on Case's campus

 

smith_eng.jpg

 

the color balance in the photo doesn't truly show how ugly the color scheme is

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We used to call that the Mary, Queen of Heaven building...more making fun of contemporary Catholic church structures than this building, but it does look like they put a halo on it.

 

More super-ugliness awaits in the old northside dorms - those still standing? They had those horrific round windows on the ground floor...I assume CWRU's master plan calls for them to be torn down and replaced with another building named Mather...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and actually, new Catholic churches always seem to come out as the bastard child of a thousand compromises. Can't have anything that looks like a high altar (god forbid!), let alone a baldacchino; the tabernacle is always hidden away somewhere (ladies and gentlemen, Jesus has left the auditorium); can't have pews or kneelers, of course; and the whole structure always looks like a Universalist obeisance to some mystical Great Spirit of Nature...gotta make the Mary statue look like an amorphous blob...gotta have skylights, and a Resurrecifix instead of a Crucifix..."and over here is where the band sets up"...aaaargh...I could go on for days...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I agree with Colday about Toledo's Hytower (used to be the Owens Corning Fiberglass Tower) sucking. It's very simple International Style, with one side being just brown bricks. I will say that the tower compliments the skyline pretty well though. It balances out the skyline with the OI Tower. Toledo has a 400 foot plus tower on each end of its skyline and that gives it a balanced look (with the exception of the big hotels and the Commodore Perry to the South). If the Hytower was gone, Toledo would have a very bizzare skyline. In a city like Toledo, any 400 foot skyscraper is extremely important. It's not Cleveland or Nati, where one 400 foot tower doesn't make a big difference. Also, it's rumored that the Hytower's future is in jeopardy. It's in really bad shape and supposedly it will cost more to fix then tearing it down and building a new 20 story building. Also, the Government Tower in Toledo is nothing to brag about. It's placement is weird too. It's really far away from the other talls. It does add height to T-Town though, but the building looks too fat and is too simple in design (like many federal buildings).

 

Hytower

"<ahttp://img2.exs.cx/img2/7526/fisheyesouth.jpg" alt="Image Hosted by

ImageShack.us" />

 

Skyline

"<ahttp://img19.exs.cx/img19/6836/Skylinefullglory.jpg" alt="Image Hosted by

ImageShack.us" />

 

Government Center's weird placement

"<ahttp://img2.exs.cx/img2/3589/SkylineCherryStreet.jpg" alt="Image Hosted by

ImageShack.us" />

 

Anyway, my vote for worst building in Ohio goes to the Rhodes Tower in Columbus. what an ugly ass building. What makes it worse is that it's Columbus's tallest. It is the landmark of the city. The tallest building of any big city should be a good one, and Columbus failed miserably here. THe city would look better if it had a huge post-modern building as its tallest like Key Tower in Cleveland. Words cannot describe how ugly the Rhodes Tower is. One has to experience the beast up close and personal to truly comprehend its heinous facade. Columbus has its other uglies like Nationwide and a bunch of nasty 1960's/1970's box towers too.

 

And for Cleveland's BP Tower. I don't know how any one can hate on that building. I think it looks sweet and adds a lot to the Cleveland skyline. It's huge and has an awesome profile. I love the setbacks, and I think it's the best looking brown/black building ever built. Seriously, I don't see what's ugly about it. It's pretty unique and has a lot of character. It's appropriately imposing and has a sort of gothic feel to it. Cleveland's ugliest is the Justice Tower hands down. It looks like a giant prison. I know some people hate the Federal Tower, but it reminds me of some of the international style skyscrapers in New York. It's ok for its time.

 

I would agree that Nati's ugliest is the Fifth Third Tower.

 

Now Dayton, shit, that city has its fare share of uglies. I think the Mead Tower is hideous and the Kettering Tower is not worthy of being the tallest building. I guess you'd expect this in a city that was called boring by "The Simpsons." Dayton has a lot of simple colorless boxes. But on street level, there are some nice oldies.

 

Now Akron, whose skyline is lacking, doesn't really have any good modern high rises. There only are a handfull of tall buildings, but the only skyscraper I love is the old art deco one.

 

Now perhaps a more interesting question. Does anyone hate any of the historic high rises in Ohio?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you think the Kettering and Mead Towers are "hideous," then you must not like anything in Toledo's skyline minus the third tallest and the fourth tallest (I presume the old building next to it is the fourth). The Seagate Tower is abysmal glass, the Hytower I already commented on, the white box near the Lucas County Courthouse is horrid, and the other things belong in a Perrysburg office park. But, like Dayton, Toledo has some nice hidden, low-rise buildings.

 

But of course Dayton was the subject of the Simpsons because one of the voices (Bart) is from Kettering (still lives there too) and was a joke. We won't be seeing Toledo on any show for a while ;).


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, in Cincinnati there are a bunch of ugly buildings, bad architecture. I guess of tall buildings my least favorite is the Kroger tower. It is out of scale to the context and is horrible at street level. And remember when it used to be both blue and white striped? At least it is all white now. Of other buildings downtown I really do not like the old Lazarus garage. Garages don't get much worse . . .

 

Having lived in Columbus, I actually kind of like the Rhodes tower. My choice for bad tall building is probably the tall Courthouse on High.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fugliest buildings in downtown Cincinnati in no special order

 

*Hamilton county justice center*

*Old Broadwing building*

*Kroger building*

*Crowne Plaza Hotel*

 

Next Hotel renderings look good so I can take crowne plaza off the list soon ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More super-ugliness awaits in the old northside dorms - those still standing? They had those horrific round windows on the ground floor...I assume CWRU's master plan calls for them to be torn down and replaced with another building named Mather...

 

yeah, those baby's are coming down once the new dorms are built (on the old football field at E. 115th)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Saw a guest looking at this thread and thought it deserved a bump, I'll try to come up with one in the morning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually like the old Terrace Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati.  I think it is one of the best early modernism examples in the city where form follows function and was quite remarkable when built as the first post-WWII hotel in the city.

 

Here's a picture from Cincinnati Views:

Terrace%20Plaza%20vert-2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Interesting you say that, I thought of the old Howard Johnson's in Middletown.

 

An old roadside hotel, possibly the first in Middletown, Howard Johnsons was still very vibrant when I was younger, and I remember the orange roof quite well.

 

There are som pics here: http://www.highwayhost.org/Ohio/Cincinnati/Middletown/middletown1.html

 

It used to look much more like this one: http://www.highwayhost.org/Ohio/Cleveland/NRandall/nrandall1.html

 

 

Both links are from a fun website about those signiture orange roofs: http://www.highwayhost.org/Orangeroof/index.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

is that part of a jail???

 

no wait, i see some escape routes.

 

^^Ugliest? Lorains is a beauty compared to Middletown's.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b133/05Kaelinna/100_1449.jpg

 

 

This makes me think of Richland County's courthouse with those 70's arches...I kind of like it, yet am disgusted at the same time.

 

hehe. i threw that in for grascat who i noticed remarked how much he disliked it a couple times. yeoow, i would agree your link is buglier for sure....in the city hall battle of the uglies. any other candidates? can someone put up more of the richland disaster? a bball hoop dont make me puke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

who said it wasnt?

 

although now im starting to think the whole building is a myth. how ugly can it be?

 

oh wait..is this it? from google:

 

187735547_2b80e49ae9_m.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh key doh key.

 

i do see the same seventies style as the lorian building. however, middletown city hall or whatever that bunker was def beats them both down pretty easily in the ugly dept  -- that pick on the link was downright scary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

....in the city hall battle of the uglies. any other candidates?

 

dfly's pic of the Richmond, Indiana city building came to mind...

richmond37.jpg

 

also of Summit Streets pic of the Newark, Ohio's city building...

32466028.jpg

 

and my Jeffersonville, Indiana city/county gov't building...

100_6084.jpg

 

and finally...Springfield:

101_0044.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

egad springfield. the decorations somehow make it worse. its like a xmas cake!

 

That place in springfield, looks like the house that Hansel and Gretel came upon....but on steriods!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...