- The Empire State Building...for now.
- I hate the way the new World Trade Center will look. But the sheer width of the Met Life Building when you look at it straight on from up Park Avenue makes it really the biggest eyesore. It blocks everything behind it.
- God, where to begin?
Port Authority bus station.
Madison Square Garden.
Most of the new construction in Times Square.
- Anything by Donald Trump, especially World Tower
Citicorp Center (both the 53rd and LIC ones)
The Metlife complex on Madison, except for the tower.
- Penn Station, inside and out.
- I'm with R2 - that "Freedom Tower" is butt-ugly.
I also hate the "new" Hearst building on 57th Street - the lower floors designed in the 1920s are gorgeous art nouveau, then from that emerges this hideous twisted glass monstrosity. Incongruous and tacky.
The great Joseph Urban designed the original building and included a tower in his design, but Hearst never built it. Many many years later, when they decided to build the tower, they went for a whole new design rather than use Urban's graceful, elegant original plan. WRONG!
- Another one who thinks that "Freedom Tower" is an eyesore.
The ugliest building on LES has got to be this:
- The Met Life Building
- Bloomberg's green monster. It obliterated our view of the Chrysler Building uptown and on foggy nights it creates a miasma straight out of Ghostbusters
- Why did they build a fucking museum in a park?
That is such *bullshit*.
- Tear down new Penn Station and reconstruct old Penn Station with modern amenities.
- Sticking the the single building criterion, I'm with R11.
Otherwise I'd propose a thematic demolition of post-war white brick apartment houses.
The New Yorkers who echo R10's sentiment, who don't want the Met to add so much as a doorknob that might project into parkland are among the craziest fuckers who ever drew breath.
- World trade center. Thank Allah it's down.
- The Westin Hotel at 43rd & 8th, with its weird shapes and colors. When it went up, one paper's headline asked "Is it SUPPOSED to look Puerto Rican?"
- R13 is correct. The WTC was the biggest eyesore.
- New Jersey
- NYU's Bobst Library.
- Don't forget 666 Fifth Ave, which Ada Louise Huxtable famously described as looking like "the box that the Seagram's building came in."
- The Marriot Marquis in Times Square. I loathe that Portman-designed building.
By the way, I have vivid memories of that article op........wasn't one of the top spots occupied by the World Trade Center? (RIP)
- The Verizon Building might be the worst.
- The Palazzo Chupi (designed by Julian Schnabel) is sort of magnificently horrible. It's so appropriate for the West Village.
- I loved the WTC. So stark and monolithic. Yeah, it didn't blend in with the surroundings but I liked them regardless. I recently watched 9/11 footage with close-ups of the tower and seeing the morning sun reflect on these man-made mountains/cliffs was startling.
- This is the Westin. It really is hideous--it looks like it was designed by an eight year-old girl named Matilda.
- Bwahaha, R21. Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation calls it "an exploded Malibu Barbie house."
I kind of love its fabulous awfulness, but it really is a testament to Schnabel's monumental ego.
- I live in NY and love a lot of things about it (although fewer and fewer, and I'm fixing to move) but it really is a spectacularly ugly city.
- I would have been okay (maybe) with the World Trade Center had it been in the center of Manhattan Island, like the Empire State Building. But placed at the very edge of the city it seemed like it was going to tip the whole island into the sea.
- Another one who liked WTC. Walking between those towers was a special experience. They were so massive and stoic. Certainly, they were better than the boring tower replacing them.
Looking up on WTC:
- 2 Columbus Circle.
It was an arrogant eyesore when built, but now it is a spectacular monument to man's trashiness.
- R3 - The original Port Authority Bus Terminal is still buried beneath the erector set facade that was added to join the original to the north addition built in the late 70's. It was actually quite a handsome building.
- [quote]The original Port Authority Bus Terminal is still buried beneath the erector set facade that was added to join the original to the north addition built in the late 70's. It was actually quite a handsome building.
Wow, and it's such a simple facade. You could restore it for peanuts.
- I must respectfully disagree with Miss Huxtable; the Hearst building is one of the (very) few pieces of modern architecture in Manhattan that I *do* like.
On my immediate chopping block: the "new" WTC, Trump Tower, whatever that new Gehry condo building near City Hall is called, the windowless Verizon building nearby on the East River, Trump World Plaza, any and all copies of the original Seagram Building in Midtown, the "Lipstick Tower," Madison Square Garden, the Pan Am/Met Life building, the Port Authority, and the Time Warner Center.
- The Verizon building is such an ugly eyesore.
- You think the Gehry condo is bad, R31? Have you seen the William Beaver House?!
- R23: I have just the sweater to wear when you and Matilda visit, too. Actually, I have a whole warehouse of them.
- One Madison Park is the biggest eyesore. It's just a skinny tall stack of Legos (not to insult Legos) that looks like it's about to tip over. It doesn't go with any of the buildings on 23rd Street and ruins the view from below 23rd toward the Empire State Building.
- While I certainly think some buildings in every city are eyesores, I wouldn't necessarily want them torn down. Imperfections are part of any city. "Perfect" skylines include imperfections.
- Oh, I completely agree about One Madison Park. It is such a giant eyesore and looks so out of place. And if you had more money than god, why the fuck would you want to live on 23rd St. anyway?
- Henri Bendel, 56th & 5th
- Another vote for that awful Verizon building near the Brooklyn Bridge. Terrible.
I love One Madison Park, though I wish it were taller.
- R21 - Jesus Tapdancing Christ, that is hideous. It looks like it belongs in Miami or Vegas rather than NYC
- The old WTC towers were ugly as sin. They aren't missed, that's for sure.
- 2 Columbus Circle
Arrogant (left) re-engineered to trashy (right)
- I love the Worldwide Plaza, but I think the sooner MSG?Penn Station is replaced the better.
- 3) Trump Place
2) Trump Tower
1) Trump's hair
- I don't dislike the Westin or that LES building - they're both a specific style other than plain "ugly" - not everybody's taste, but IMO not a mistake.
Mistakes are Penn Station, inside and out. Everything about it sucks, it feels like the entire thing is made of soiled linoleum.
The Verizon building ruins every photo of the New York skyline across the East River.
I don't even see the Met Life building anymore. I've accepted it, I guess.
- I was on Google Earth and ran into that horrifying building that R17 mentions, it looked like it had no windows and was some kind of psych ward or something.
I liked the Twin Towers too, sometimes they would catch the light and look really beautiful. I wish they were still there.
This black and white building by Central Park always reminds me of an ice cream sandwich.
- The ugliest buildings in NYC are all building Trump.
- The Pan Am is the worst, but the redo of 2 Columbus Circle and the Trump Whorehouse Towers are really, really bad.
The new Freedom Tower is completely wrong, every way. At the ground, at the top, the name, the "message" of the height - I wouldn't be surprised if when it's done they discover they forgot to put in restroom on the floors above 15.
- Anything that was designed by Michale Graves.
- r46, I used to work in the "ice cream sandwich" building, on a high floor, and the views were incredible. Even the most boring or stressful day at the office wasn't that bad because of the amazing view.
The Verizon building looks like something out of the old Soviet Union. Whoever gave the go-ahead to build that monstrosity? It is so fucking ugly.
- R50, I envious of anyone who had access to such a great view of Central Park, it has to be pretty incredible to have that as a backdrop.
- The current Penn Station is the only space in NY that makes me angry to be in or around, even the Port Authority has an "industrial strength" greatness. Penn Station feels built for untermenchen, such a spiteful space in contrast to what was one there.
- There's an awful highrise building down by Wall Street with bright, canary yellow panelling.
- Penn Station is like one giant gas station bathroom from 1962.
- Any building covered in glass ESPECIALLY black glass.
- R52's picture makes me very sad.
- Penn Station is awful. The LIRR area looks like the Midway of a carnival. The NJ Transit/Amtrak area is awful and ugly. To add insult to injury, they display photos of the old Penn Station around that area.
I am, however, grateful for that middle level at Penn Station that only frequent riders and commuters know about so you don't get crushed when your train is announced.
- Anything owned by Donald Trump.
- [quote]To add insult to injury, they display photos of the old Penn Station around that area.
I know, that is so messed up. There are places on some of the lower levels leading to the NJ Transit tracks that still have some of the old Penn Station intact, particularly the bannisters that that line the stairs, and if you look up, you can tell the ceiling has the glass blocks, albeit painted over.
- 2 Columbus Circle was better before the recent makeover. Now it looks like it's been clad in aluminum siding.
- The reason the Verizon building is so ugly is because it's a switching center that houses equipment (so no need for windows) and is meant to be ultra secure. There are a few switching centers around the city, though I actually think the ugliest one is the AT&T building at 811 10th Avenue.
To me, the ugliest building is 3 Columbus Circle. It was an art deco building constructed in the 1920s that was just renovated into a glass monstrosity. It also used to be 1775 Broadway until the new owners lobbied for a change of address that's sort of ridiculous since the building isn't even actually on Columbus Circle.
- Penn Station/Madison Square Garden.
- R61 Ultra secure is putting it mildly. I once dated a guy that worked there and he told me the building was built to withstand a nuke blast and goes several stories below ground. You have to go through some pretty intense security clearance before they assign you to that location. Supposedly nearly all of the countries telephone traffic passes through that building (this was over 10 years ago, so I dont know if that last part is still true)
- countries = country's
- Oh r61 -- they said the same thing about The Pentagon. A nuclear blast would not take it down, but one kamikaze jet took down 3 rings of one section...
- R65 The Pentagon was built before atomic bombs existed, so whoever told you it was built to withstand a nuke blast didnt know what they were talking about.
- [quote][R52]'s picture makes me very sad.
Me too, R56. I seriously consider the destruction of the original Penn Station as one of the greatest architectural disasters to have taken place in any modern city. It literally boggles my mind to think that living human beings made the decision to demolish it and replace it with the monstrosity on that site now.
- Henri Bendel? What, you don't like the Lalique windows?
- The upside to Penn Station being torn down was it really got the whole landmark preservation movement going. I remember as a kid Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall and Grand Central Station were actually being considered for demolition. It is a shame, I guess we had to sacrifice Penn Station in order to save other city gems.
- The Pan Am building is what saved Grand central from the wrecking ball!
- Fashion Institute of Technology and yes- anything Trump, who still loves brass themed facades- cause he is so 1980's.
- I love the redesign of 2 Columbus Circle, as well as the new tower atop the Hearst building on 57th. The Westin, the new Inter-Continental across the street, most Trump buildings, the new AND old WTC, Madison Square Garden, and the Marriot Marquis are just depressing and beyond banal...Even if they are "specific" as one poster above states!
- Currently, anything Trump.
Pre-9/11, those towers (they ruined the city's skyline).
- "The Pan Am building is what saved Grand central from the wrecking ball!"
I beg to differ.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis
- Exactly R37.
Spending a fortune to live on 23st??????....just to have views of the "better" parts of the city where everyone with money resides?
Ironically, of course, nobody wants anything to do with that mess now anyway.
- Doesn't Palzzzo Chupi mean "Suck Palace" in Italian?
John Travolta's Hungry Hungry A-hole
- And while we're at it with Met Life, it would be nice if the Grand Hyatt around the corner could come down during the demolition as well.
Is the lobby bathroom still cruisy?
- One New York Plaza.
Besides its ridiculous address, it ruins the whole East River skyline from the harbor. Two lumps stuck next to each other.
- Can someone identify a building for me? It's the one to the left of the Chrysler building in this photo.
- The dark one with the beige concrete top?
That's the Viacom Building on Broadway and 44th Street.
- No one mentioned the 'lipstick building' yet? Yech.
- I've always liked the Lipstick Building.
- R81, the Lipstick building made that original New York Magazine list.
- HATE what they did to the old Huntington Hartford museum at Columbus Circle.
- R74, the Pan Am bldg was built in 1964, saving GCS the same fate as Penn Station - earlier, Penn REFUSED to let an office building be built in it. Later the railroad went bankrupt, you know the story.
The Jackie GCS stuff was in 1975, and I never thought it was very serious. Really, they were never going to tear down GCS.
- I like the way the three buildings in succession on third avenue make a very contratsing skyline - the Lipstick Building being the first one.
It's buildings like The Millenium Hotel downtown which I can't stand. Those glasses start staining and deforming and it only takes one to ruin the visual uber-uniformity that the glass structures demand.
Don't open that window!
- These buildings look good/terrible in the photos, yet you can't tell what they look like at street level. So what's the difference?
- Penn Station / Madison Square Garden gets my vote.....an eyesore to be sure. As is so often the case in NYC, the buildings they tear down are almost always more beautiful than the new construction. The original Penn Station was a masterpiece!
- Maybe I'm the only one who likes it, but the Pan Am building is my favorite. I guess I love it for all the reasons most people hate it. Massive and monolithic; it could only have been built in NYC.
- The old Penn Station below. I was never in it:
- Speaking of New York buildings, I'm curious about one. Although the Seagram Building was used for "Fabian Publishing" in The Best of Everything, there was another unusual building in the film.
In the last shot, Hope Lange and Stephen Boyd walk off together and the camera pans up to a building in the distance. In the film it's even a bit phallic looking as the top of the building is bigger than the "shaft."
I think it may be the New York Central Building/the New York General Building/the Helmsley Building pictured below. It's hard to tell since the Pan Am/Met Life building is behind it now when scene from the same angle as used in the film.
- Thanks for that pic of the old Penn Station, R90. Can anyone briefly explaine why that gorgeous structure was torn down? I agree with everyone else about the current Penn Station. It is hideous and an embarrassment to the city.
- The IAC headquarters building on the West Side Highway in Chelsea.
- R93, that's a gorgeous building.
- That ugly green one that overlooks the UN. It's one thing to offend local sensibilities, but real chutzpah to offend the entire world.
- I love those two buildings on the right with the towers on top, I don't know what they are (maybe one of them is BofA?) but they fit nicely in with the NY skyline, IMO, but I guess some people would consider them ugly.
- 15 Central Park West, an ultra luxury condo that caters to the 1% of the 1%, has always looked rather plain and ugly to me. None of the real beauty of other CPW ultra-luxury buildings like the Beresford (my favorite) or the San Remo. It's just so generic looking, and they had so much money to plan and build it was ridiculous.
- I'm also curious about the building mentioned in R91. I've always loved The Best of Everything.
Any ideas NYers?
- Those of you who are saying you are glad the WTC is down are fucking sick. Yeah just 3000 people died. Only shallow, cold, gossiping,worried about who skinny they are, buzz cutted, queens could say stuff like this. Gross.
- I don't know if that pic of the building on the LES is the one at Ludlow and Houston, but I was shocked to see that high-rise after not visiting since the nineties.
I felt like Marty McFly when I went to Katz's Deli, and it is now shadowed by that towering structure.
It changes the whole landscape of that area.
Meg Ryan's fake orgasm
- You do not question the Limestone Jesus, R97.
- This thread reminded me of this HORRIBLE apt building on 6th Ave & 15th St.
Back in the 80s it also had rusting balconies (can't tell if they've been replaced)
Just walking past it used to depress me.
- & here's the view from 6th which better illustrates my point, I think.
- & what are these two buildings doing on the southern tip of Manhattan?
Is this New York or Cleveland?
- I'm Cleveland, and I resent that remark.
- [quote]I'm Cleveland, and I resent that remark.
I was going to apologize until I clicked on your pic for a proper look and realized you must be kidding.
Most of those buildings look like 1970s Moscow public housing.
- Only because the Russians copied Cleveland.
Know your history.
- Leave to New Yorkers to just spout off some building's address or nickname and expect us all to instantly know what they're talking about. Thank you to those who have posted pics. Here's the Trump Tower. It looks like something Larry Flynnt would've approved. Nice font, The Donald.
- [quote]Leave to New Yorkers to just spout off some building's address or nickname and expect us all to instantly know what they're talking about.
They just keep failing to consider the flyover folk, don't they?
They've been told over & over again... but I see no noticeable progress.
- isn't this the ugliest building in nyc?
- I agree with R93 about the IAC building. Maybe it doesn't take the gold medal, but there's something about the white-frosted plastic-y veneer that makes me think of a cheap office park in New Jersey. It's less offensive at night when it's lit from inside. But what was Gehry thinking?
- Fran Lebowitz recently went off on a tirade about ugly new buildings in Manhattan that look like suburban office parks. She was totally right, as usual. You can find it on youtube.
- [quote]NYU's Bobst Library.
That looks like an amazing building. I think it's breathtaking.
- [quote]She was totally right, as usual.
She's ALWAYS right, but never fair.
- Freedom Tower, when lit at night looks like a corn cob.
- Flat Iron Building. Who likes old stuff?
- The Times Building. It's oogly.
- The line of Trump buildings that have sprung up along the 60s and the West Side Highway. Nothing a wrecking ball couldn't fix.
- 15 CPW is not generic looking. It's designed by Robert A.M. Stern to refer to the older CPW buildings which were built in the last century, but obviously no modern construction is going to match them. It's clad in limestone which is unusual for a modern skyscraper.
I especially like the top of the tower.
- One World Trade Center (they dropped the name "Freedom Tower" years ago) at least has the grace to almost disappear in the daylight. It's reflective as a mirror. What a wasted opportunity.
The Verizon switching center (375 Pearl St.) has been sold and is being turned into offices with an entirely new facade.
- Robert A.M Stern is the most overrated architect of the last fifty years. For someone whose career is based on "context," he does a piss-poor job of execution.
- The New WTC!!
- The old WTC towers were worse.
- At least the original WTC was interesting and had a dominating presence. It didn't look like any other building, and that's what it set it apart. Big, dominating, no nonsense architecture. Distinctly New York. The way it caught light during sunsets was spectacular.
The new one, on the other hand, looks like it would be right at home in Europe or Asia.
- R3/R4/R5 have it right. And the TWC was hideous, as it the disgusting replacement. And the Verizon is hideous.
But the Pan Am (Met Life) is the absolute worst. It is a bully and as ugly and mean as a fat-ass crazy woman lifting her skirt to fart in your face from a ladder.
- Trump Tower - Fifth & 56th - Horrible inside and out - Truly cheap and vulgar.
- It's too bad the World Trade Center had such a horribly tragic end, but that aside, good riddance to bad rubbish.
- Penn Station/MSG
- The trouble with the Pan Am/Met Life Building is that it's so damned big, and it sits at the end of 5th Avenue. it completely dominates the view down the street in the way no other building in NYC does. It should be torn down.
The old World Trade Center was similarly awful because since the two towers were kitty corner across a narrow space from one another they completely dominated in width along a certain viewline. It was hard to be anywhere downtown and have them not completely dominate your southern view. In contrast, even though other buildings in NYC are also very tall (Citicorp, the Freedom Tower, the Empire State Building), they don't block off as much sky.
The new Freedom tower has surprised me because it looks kind of transparent at night, which is pretty neat. It's still not very attractive by day, but it still looks 10X better in person than what I was expecting from the models and artist's simulations.
- Julian Schnabel's Palazzo Chupi in the W. Village is so ugly and jarring I kind of like it.
- Interiors of Schnabel's triplex penthouse at Palazzo Chupi. I had no idea he had this kind of money.
- The Verizon Building/375 Pearl isn't being changed. The new owner said he actually likes it as is:
- R130 I've never seen it in person, but the Palazzo Chupi looks very entertaining from here.
R129 That's Park Avenue, isn't it?
- All of Manhattan should be leveled. It's a complete eyesore.