Hall of Shame Nominations

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statler

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Is it really called Meth-union Manor?
^^ As Ron mentioned it is affiliated with the Union United Methodist Church. It was named long before 'meth' was a commonly known drug.
 

ablarc

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Is it pronounced "meth-oo-ni-on" or "meth-you-ni-on"?
 

kennedy

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^^ As Ron mentioned it is affiliated with the Union United Methodist Church. It was named long before 'meth' was a commonly known drug.
Yeah, I wasn't sure if he was being serious.
 

scootie

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How about a category for additions?


The problem of additions is particularly complex and challenging in Boston.

or not...

 

Beton Brut

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Across the street from where I get my hair cut. Vomit-inducing.
 

statler

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Well, what the hell were they going to do with those extra shipping containers?
 

ablarc

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It's unabashedly of its time, isn't it?

Makes no effort to "resorting to inventing a back-story that never occurred".

If it had just continued the same brick bay treatment for two stories, no one would be commenting negatively about it or noticing it. It would be unoriginal but acceptable.

Acceptable to us, acceptable to the public, but perhaps unacceptable to architects, ideologues and theoreticians. They're obsessed with style and its relationship to chronology.

This is modern times, they say, so we have to make things different.

Even at the cost of being "vomit-inducing."
 

czsz

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Red herring, ablarc. It's all too convenient to confuse cheap and easy with form follows function. A second glance would easily tell you this is an example of the former.
 

ablarc

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^ That's how Modernism plays into the hands of cheapskate developers.
 

scootie

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It's unabashedly of its time, isn't it?

Makes no effort to "resorting to inventing a back-story that never occurred".

If it had just continued the same brick bay treatment for two stories, no one would be commenting negatively about it or noticing it. It would be unoriginal but acceptable.

Acceptable to us, acceptable to the public, but perhaps unacceptable to architects, ideologues and theoreticians. They're obsessed with style and its relationship to chronology.

This is modern times, they say, so we have to make things different.

Even at the cost of being "vomit-inducing."

did an architect kill your dad or what?
 

czsz

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That's how Modernism plays into the hands of cheapskate developers.
Um, have you not been out to see America's umpteen million acres of wood-framed French Colonial mini-mansions?
 

Beton Brut

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did an architect kill your dad or what?
Not exactly, scootie. It's a little more nuanced.

ablarc, I gotta agree with czsz on this one. The stain on Beacon Street is the apotheosis of value engineering. There's no Modernist manifesto behind it. The fact that it has a level of excretory kinship with the worst of the International Style (and the joyless, by-rote architecture that followed) is only a sad coincidence.

There's nothing wrong with Paul Rudolph's pad on Beekman Place, right?
 

ablarc

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Rudolph was a master. He knew what he was doing. The guy on Beacon Street, not so much. At the risk of joining you, Beton, in speculating on motives: I don't think the Beacon Street architect cynically relished doing something cheap and crummy; he was grateful to modernism, instead, for giving him a vocabulary that allowed him to be simultaneously economical and the latest thing. Those were exactly the twin motives of Walter Gropius.

He was, of course, both deluded and talentless --as was Gropius himself.

Trouble with Modernism is that its vocabulary is so desiccated, you have to be a genius like Rudolph to extract beauty from it (and even he is roundly hated, as you know). With a developed vocabulary that's been around for a few centuries, most architects who aren't geniuses have a chance of doing something nice.

At all times, 99.9% of architects are not geniuses, but we still need good buildings. Modernism is like designing in handcuffs: not impossible, but it helps to be clever as Houdini.
 

czsz

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he was grateful to modernism, instead, for giving him a vocabulary that allowed him to be simultaneously economical and the latest thing.
Seriously, ablarc, people were building similarly stripped down cheap-looking sheds in 1875...they didn't need the "vocabulary of modernism" to get away with it.

I hate to be so gratingly untheoretical, but you're going to have to produce evidence of intent before you make such all-encompassing claims about the reach of modernism's deletorious effect. I'm not sure why you need to, anyway: there are plenty of real dragons to slay in that realm.
 

ablarc

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people were building similarly stripped down cheap-looking sheds in 1875...they didn't need the "vocabulary of modernism" to get away with it.
Actually, they weren't. Even tenements weren't cheap-looking.

I hate to be so gratingly untheoretical, but you're going to have to produce evidence of intent before you make such all-encompassing claims about the reach of modernism's deleterious effect. I'm not sure why you need to, anyway: there are plenty of real dragons to slay in that realm.
Don't know what you're talking about.
 

czsz

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Actually, they weren't. Even tenements weren't cheap-looking.
I'm not talking about Lower East Side tenements - the ones that survived. I'm talking about the cheap crap that was bound to fall apart before it was ever preserved. Behold:



I don't think the 19th century coal miners who lived here needed a "vocabulary of modernism" to throw up this POS.

Here is another inspiring example:



My latter point was simply that it's ridiculous to keep throwing around the idea that such ugliness is the result of modernism without even providing evidence that the "vocabulary of modernism" was used to justify it. If it needed such a vocabulary, it's surely public. Mere inference won't do when making such sweeping claims; ascribing intent is not like parsing Stick from Queen Anne.
 

ablarc

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Reductio ad absurdum is a conversation-killer.

Don't forget packing cases, tents and the underside of bridges. ;)
 
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