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10 Notable Buildings People Hated

All buildings were once new. And all building designs were once new. But some designs, and the buildings that resulted from them, were so shocking to the public that it took grit to get them built, and time for them to be accepted. Here are ten such buildings, in no order…

10

The Washington Monument

Washington-Monument-Address

The Washington Monument was initially planned shortly after George Washington died, in 1799. But plans were interrupted by the War of 1812 and a lack of funding. In 1833, the Washington National Monument Society was formed to raise money to build the memorial. The winning design was submitted by Robert Mills, an architect from Charleston, South Carolina. For cost reasons, only the obelisk from his proposed Greco-Roman temple-like edifice was approved. It drew immediate criticism. “A stalk of asparagus” some called it. “The big furnace chimney on the Potomac Flats”, said the New York Tribune. Construction began, but was halted by the Civil War. The half-finished monument stood like a stump for years afterwards. Mark Twain derided the “memorial chimney”, with livestock “dozing in the holy calm of its protecting shadow.” Work resumed in 1877, and the monument was finally dedicated by President Chester A. Arthur on February 21, 1885, to broad public acclaim. But some still dissented. A reviewer in the American Architect and Building News said, “It is to be regretted that ages are likely to elapse before the monument will fall down.”

9

The Eiffel Tower

Eiffel-Tower-Paris-215498 1024 683

The French government planned to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution with a symbol of France’s industrial prowess. The plan was to build the highest tower in the world. Of all the plans submitted, the judges unanimously chose Gustav Eiffel’s graceful lattice of girders, anchored by four piers. When the plan, along with its proposed site in the residential neighborhood of Champ de Mars was made public, the protest was immediate. Eminent artists, including Guy de Maupassant and Alexandre Dumas, signed an angry letter to the minister of public works. “We protest with all our strength the useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is without doubt the dishonour of Paris. Everyone feels it, everyone says it, everyone is profoundly saddened by it.” As the tower progress, nervous neighbors feared that it would attract lightning, or topple onto their homes, and sued to stop construction. The city would take no responsibility, so Eiffel himself insured the neighbors, and work resumed. Parisians watched in awe & horror as it went up, calling it an “elephant”, a “giraffe”, a “hulking metal beast crouched on all fours”. After it finally opened, it became a huge hit, even with the protesting artists. All except de Maupassant. He hated it so much that he often ate lunch in the tower’s second floor restaurant, which was the only point in the city where he couldn’t see “this tall skinny pyramid of iron ladders, this giant and disgraceful skeleton.”


8

The Flatiron Building
NYC

Flat-Iron-Building

The Fuller Building, immediately nicknamed the Flatiron Building because of its narrow, triangular shape, was, at 23 stories, the highest building in New York, north of City Hall when it was built, in 1902. Designed by architect Daniel Hudson Burnham, and constructed by contractor George B. Fuller, it incorporated many then-new elements of skyscrapers, such as a load supporting steel skeleton, and a masonry veneer. The Madison Square neighborhood in which it was erected was quite stylish at the time, and the imposing building drew ire from the public. An architectural journalist said that the building “is at present quite the most notorious thing in New York, and attracts more attention than all the other buildings now going up put together”. Although fears that strong winds would push the building over proved unfounded, the shape of the building created strong downdrafts. The New York Herald reported how “women were inconveniently blown about and paper money lost from their pockets.” The gusts also, scandalously, revealed the womens ankles. Police chased away male rubberneckers by shouting “Twenty-three skiddoo!”, meaning “leave Twenty-third street.” One blast of wind blew a messenger boy into Fifth Avenue, where he was killed by a passing automobile. Windstorms around the building broke windows. Yet despite all this, the building became a popular tourist attraction, and is now revered as New York’s oldest skyscraper.

7

Philip Johnson’s Glass House
New Canaan, CT

Glasshouse

In 1946, architect Philip Johnson bought land in New Canaan, Connecticut, and, over the next three years, built a minimalist, flat-roofed house made of huge sheets of glass. The neighbors were angry because the modernist design sharply clashed with the clapboard colonial houses the area was known for. Some newspapers published mocking verse: “It takes a heap of livin’ in a place to make it home. / And I wish those guys like Johnson would take their plans and roam.” Actually, the house was not visible from the road. In one of the first American usages of feng shui, he situated the house on a rocky shelf, halfway down a hill. “The good spirits will be caught by the hill that’s behind the house; the evil spirits will be unable to climb the hill below the house,” Johnson explained. “My house has beautiful wallpaper,” he said, referring to the New England countryside rolling away from every viewpoint. But the house attracted unwanted attention. Birds crashed into it. Locals threw rocks at it, prompting Johnson to retaliate in kind, landing him in some trouble. As the house was being built, crowds of people came to sightsee, causing traffic problems in the small town, and requiring a police presence. Some residents called it “the desecration of the New Canaan countryside.” Johnson finally made peace with New Canaan by opening his home for a tour once a year. The proceeds went to benefit the community nursery school.


6

Frank O. Gehry’s House
Santa Monica, CA

04

In 1978, architect Frank O. Gehry pondered the house that his wife had found for them to live in. It was a simple two-story pink bungalow in a quiet neighborhood in Santa Monica, California. “It was just a dumb little house with charm, and I became interested in trying to make it more important. I became fascinated with creating a shell around it.” Create a shell he did. He boxed in the house with corrugated sheets of metal, lengths of chain-link fencing, and unfinished plywood, all cut into odd angular shapes. The neighbors predictably complained. One said that it was a dirty thing to do in one’s front yard. “If he were a poet, he’d be writing smutty jingles.” But Gehry has said that he merely used the familiar materials of his own middle-class childhood in an original way, to create a house that is also a work of art. Gehry continued to add to it, but the neighbors hated its unfinished appearance. One neighbor even fired a shot at it. But the house won national architectural awards, and as the years rolled on its fame won it a measure of local acceptance.

5

Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau
Germany

Neuschwanstein 1

This familiar castle, which looks like it came out of a fairy tale, caused considerable uproar when it was first built. “What, is the king mad?” was one typical reaction. In the Middle Ages, castles were for nobility and their family and retainers. But King Ludwig II of Bavaria built Neuschwasntein, in 1869, only for himself. He picked a remote site 6,000 feet up in the Alps, atop the ruins of an older castle, so that he wouldn’t be troubled by his government’s ministers visiting to discuss matters of state. The storybook design was inspired by his admiration for–and friendship with–Richard Wagner, and his grand operas. In fact, the Singer’s Hall was modeled directly after a scene in Parsifal. Many other idiosyncratic–and expensive–quirks of Ludwig’s personality were expressed in the interior design. He was so busy with the construction of the castle that he barely paid attention to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, not even attending the victory celebrations. After he moved in, he demanded more and more public money for additions and more castles, even hatching a plan to rob the Rothschild Bank of Frankfurt at one point. As creditors dunned him for his bills, and the commoners protested his spendthrift ways, he withdrew to Neuschwanstein, never appearing in public again. Before he could be declared legally insane, and the throne be given to a regent, Ludwig was found dead in a small lake, in 1886. Contrary to his wishes, Neuschwanstein was not demolished upon his death, and is today Germany’s most popular castle.


4

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New York, New York

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

“A toilet bowl?” “A hangar for flying saucers?” These were some of the reactions to Frank Lloyd Wright’s design for the museum housing the art collection of Solomon Guggenheim. It was Wright’s first museum, and his first major building in New York City, which he disliked as “a forest of skyscrapers”. Wright was influenced by Guggenheim’s collection of abstract, modernist Wasilly Kandinsky paintings. The design featured a spiral topped with a dome. This prompted some critics to call it “an inverted potty” to “a gigantic snail shell”. And, indeed, Wright was inspired by the spirals of the chambered nautilus. Construction was due to begin in 1946, but was delayed by squabbles with locals and artists, until 1956. Guggenheim had died in 1949, but Wright was on hand to oversee the construction. The New York press continued to deride the building: a marshmallow, a corkscrew, an upside down washing machine. One of the construction workers called it “screwy. The whole joint goes round and round.” “It is a freak that astonishes passersby. It bears no relationship to its neighbors”, wrote journalist Brendan Gill. Another writer called it “Wright’s joke on New York.” Yet, when the Guggenheim museum opened to the public, in October, 1959, several months after Wright’s death, the giftshop sold far more cards picturing the museum than any of the artworks, therein. It has since become one of the most popular museums in New York.

3

Pompidou Center
Paris

Pompidou04

Years ago, when I was in Paris on a student trip, I visited the Pompidou Cultural Center. I looked at its facade, all multicolored piping, and thought, “this thing is a giant hemorrhoid.” I was not alone. “An architectural King Kong.” “The back of a refrigerator, enormously enlarged.” were some other reactions. An obscure architectural duo, Englishman Richard Rogers and Italian Renzo Piano, won a competition, in 1971, to design the cultural center. This, by itself, was enough to incense the French, having two unknown foreigners be charged with building the next major Parisian landmark. At a public hearing one woman was so outraged she had to be removed by police. Things got more exciting when the plan was made public. It would be made of glass and steel, but all of its piping, ductwork, elevators and even wiring would be exposed on the exterior. The seven-story high-tech edifice was to be situated in a medieval neighborhood, full of crooked, gabled, low-rise buildings, a mere block away from the oldest surviving house in Paris, built in 1407. Rogers and Piano worked under a deadline of 1975 for completion. They were hampered by the fact that they hadn’t worked out the details of the concrete substructure, and had to do so as they went along. Then, in 1974, Georges Pompidou died, and his conservative successor Valery Giscard d’Estaing had to be strongly persuaded to let work continue on the project of his former political rival. As the structure took shape, complaints poured in. Residents filed “nuisance allegations” against the design jury. Artists filed lawsuits. The old petition against the Eiffel Tower was recycled by contemporary artists, in opposition to “this useless monster.” At its opening, in 1977, novelist Anthony Burgess called it “a $200 million erector set”. But it drew huge crowds to its public spaces, and won critical praise in the art press. It drew one more criticism during renovation in the late 90s: from original designer Richard Rogers. He disliked the fact that the interior was becoming more enclosed, and that the public now had to buy tickets to ride the exterior escalators.


2

Walker Community Library
Minneapolis, MN

Jay Walker's Library

Early in the 20th century, industrial tycoon Andrew Carnegie bequeathed more than a thousand public library buildings, to communities all across America. In a small southern town I once lived in, the little Greek marble building still survived as a flower shop. The much larger Carnegie library, in Minneapolis, served until the late 1970s, when it was obvious that it was too small for the population, and needed expensive physical and electronic upgrades. Plus, in the energy-conscious Seventies, it was hard to keep heated in winter. So, when architect David Bennett won the job of designing a new public library, he decided to make most of it underground. The building would extend several stories below the surface, with a low, cubist plaza occupying the surface of the lot. Although he designed in extra-high ceilings and even a sunken courtyard garden, people complained that the interior was claustrophobic. The librarians complained about how stuffy and bunker-like it was, and joked about giving flashlights to the patrons. One critic called it “more like a mine shaft than a civic building.” It didn’t help matters that it leaked, the heating was inadequate, the above-ground plaza became a hangout for vagrants and sk8tr punks, and passersby often didn’t even know the library was there. Another architect, Francis Bulbulian, was hired, in 1995, to fix it. He modified the windows and the courtyard so that more sunlight would get in, installed a multi-story bookdrop made from two children’s spiral slides, and erected seven-foot-high steel letters on the plaza: L-I-B-R-A-R-Y. After the newly renovated facility was re-opened, the complaints abated, and the community finally seemed to embrace it.

1

McDonald’s
worldwide

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“Will somebody please tell me what’s the matter with McDonald’s?” asked humorist P. J. O’Rourke, back in the 80s. “It’s not like the Europeans don’t line up by the millions to eat there. Maybe McDonald’s food isn’t the best thing for you, but roasted goose liver smooshed up with truffles isn’t either. And has anyone ever smoked a joint and had a “pate’ de foie gras” attack?” The familiar golden arches are a target for snobs and anti-Americans worldwide. “We don’t want one of these restaurants on every street corner in France,” asserted one French vandal. Whenever the G-20 economic summit comes to town, anti-globalist rioters are right there, with McDonalds at the top of their list of businesses to trash. Yet, McDonalds began as a family restaurant founded by two brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald, in San Bernardino, California. Their innovative restaurant model called for a kitchen open to view, exceptional cleanliness, quick service and cheap meals. The brothers soon felt the urge to create a chain of the restaurants, and hired architect Stanley Meston to create a distinctive design for the buildings. The first McDonalds with the signature Golden Arches arcing over the whole building opened in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1953. The rest of the corporate story, of how salesman Ray Kroc took the franchise to international ubiquity, is familiar or readily available elsewhere. But as the restaurants spread, protests against the tackiness of the buildings did, too. Kroc hired architect Donald Miller to tone down the design. He lowered the arches, eventually reducing them to a logo on the sign. As time went on, and the company heeded protests, restaurants were designed to blend in with the local architecture–adobe blocks in the West, for instance. So, although progressives howl against McDonalds as loudly as ever, the buildings themselves are no longer an issue, save for the arches on the sign.

Bonus

St. Paul’s Cathedral
Christopher Wren, King William III

Stpauls

One from the Too Good To Check File. When King William III (some say King Charles II, or Queen Anne) was brought to view the newly completed St. Paul’s Cathedral, he is supposed to have exclaimed to architect Christopher Wren that it was “awful, pompous and artificial”. The words have shifted meaning over the centuries, and in modern English we would say something like “awe-inspiring, magnificent and technically accomplished.” Yet, this linguistic gem is probably apocryphal, possibly originating as a funny in a 1960s lecture by Harvard philosopher John Rawls. Too bad!



  • akino

    Mc Donald's surprised me.

    • Jack H

      I love McDonald's spaghetti and turnip fries. Their restaurants are cozy and all their crew are courteous. I once ate a happy meal with my pet rooster.

  • Tripsyman

    Been to neuschwanstien and it is truly beautiful and serene place with marvelous views and mountain walks around it. Bit of a hike getting up to it mind you! As for macdonalds I don't think it has any relevance or place on this list. Maybe the new Scottish parliament building in Edinburgh would have been more in place on here tha mcd's. So apart from number 1 it was a good list.

  • Armadillotron

    Gustave Eiffel also designed the interior of The Statue of Liberty.

  • Skata

    I would include Moscow State University and "Stalin's Wedding Cake" style. Of course one must remember that no one complained.

    More than once.

    • sochej

      Specifically "Stalin's Wedding Cake" in Warsaw, Poland – the Palace of Culture and Science. The Poles hated that building when it was built and they still hate it today.

  • randomizer

    What happened to the new site I mean two hours ago I logged on to listverse and what do I see the new site but it didn’t work whatever I clicked would go to a page not found page. Explain please Jfrater. Baffled here.

    • Geronimo1618

      WordPress messed up and spoilt it for all of us, the new version will be up in about 3 days.

      • bluesman87

        yeah good story , that way they wont get all pissed off when they find out that only listverse's most valued members got a sneak preview .

        • oliveralbq

          shhhhhhhh!

        • Geronimo1618

          Anyone who had been eagerly waiting for the new revamp might have got a sneak preview, it was after all just for a fleeting moment a couple of hours ago (as with me). Looked good though…

          • oliveralbq

            it was…..? i really couldnt tell.
            looked cool, but couldnt differentiate a couple things……

            had i known i was only getting 95 seconds to check it better, i would have.
            it *may* have something to do with colourblindness — which i didnt put together at the time, but i have a couple emails asking me if it was strange looking,

            but, of course, im talking to this kick-ass awesome girl, it was at like 3:45am, and im on demerol for hyperextended arm yesterday, so it's a wonder i didnt mistake it for hellokitty.com

          • Geronimo1618

            Wow, 95 secs…with me it was a type of blink and miss case, the new version would be on for a while then it reverted back to the same old as now. I just saw the overall design which looked great yeah.

          • fairtwiggy

            Ahh ;)

        • mom424

          Just how did you know Jamie let me see the new site design weeks ago?

    • oliveralbq

      i'm not real sure frater even knows why it is doing what it's doing.

      it worked for a sec, but now
      all the normal links put you in either the old site or directed to a nonfunctioning url.
      its almost like something got set-up wonky
      and my mobile connection doesnt work at all anymore.
      ??
      bluesman was right (in the other thread) — there are gonna be issues, and when they all get worked out, it'll be worth being baffled for a few hours…..

  • David

    Remember The B of The Bang that was built in Manchester? Sadly, it`s gone now..

  • alex

    where's the white house? :p

  • br0ck

    very weak list i am dissapointed

    • Geronimo1618

      Yo man, I know you are a celeb here that's why I had to reply to you- can you suggest better alternatives than those mentioned in the list?

    • JUNQUEMAN

      VERY WEAK COMMENT–I'M DISSAPOINTED IN YOU

    • Sailor

      I've gone back and read most of your comment posts. I notice you rarely if ever have anything positive or constructive to add. I respect that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but Jesus man, do you live under a black cloud or something? Does the sun shine where you live?

    • goofballreferee

      yeah buddy yeah

    • betterthantheoriginalwally

      Get back to your junior-high school homework.

  • Big Steve

    Too American

    • Ninja_Wallaby

      How did this get voted up to plus 8?

  • Joseph Owen

    Arts Concourse building in the National University of Ireland, Galway wouldn't be too far off Id say!!

  • Gav

    "He hated it so much that he often ate lunch in the tower’s second floor restaurant, which was the only point in the city where he couldn’t see “this tall skinny pyramid of iron ladders, this giant and disgraceful skeleton.”"

    LOL!!! I feel the same way about a lot of buildings in Seattle!

  • TimC

    Interesting #1, not that I disagree…

  • plum13sec

    Im pretty sure people hate just about any building on this earth for any number of reasons.

  • joshi

    I will always hate the whitehouse while a kenyan born president is in it!!

    • Tron

      Why, what's your grouse with the kenyans? You want a white person inside the white house? Or should the white house be painted black? You don't like black and white together, right?

      • bluesman87

        um no he's saying that someone born in another country shouldn't have the highest seat in his home land. Never saw any jibe on black people there .

        But Obama isn't even black he's colored . In SA if you call a colored a black they will get pissed off. Its like a mix of black and white. They even talk completely different and have their own culture and styles .

        • Julius

          Well Obama was born on Hawaii which has been a US state since '59 and has been a territory for even longer, so he was born in the US ;-)
          And as far as I understand it the Cape Coloureds are a mix of blacks whites, Malay, Bantu and Indians. You're right though in Apartheid SA Obama wouldn't have been classified as Black, but rather as coloured ;-)

          • bluesman87

            yeah i know its just a conspiracy ,i wish it were true though , that way it could give the Governator an opening for the top job(and maybe just maybe save us from the imminent threat that is sky-net) .That would be awesome . truly madly awesome . No but seriously if you call a colored a black here they get pissed off .

          • Jay

            Yeah, if only Arnold could be President. Wouldn't be nobody demanding to see HIS birth certificate!

          • Snoofie522

            Ah yes, the All American Terminator. What US state was he born in again?….

        • Moonbeam

          In the US it's considered offensive to describe someone as "colored." It's an old term and not used here anymore.

          • bluesman87

            yeah i know , thats why its interesting, same word 2 completely different social usages . im not saying that a kid born with a black mom and white dad will automatically be a colored . Colored's are a huge population group i guess they just kindve melted into a group over the hundreds of years since the cape of good hope was first used as a way station for traders en route to India . Asian slaves workers white settlers and blacks all mixed to make the coloreds . They even have or had until recently a political party . Anyway Obama looks like one (why people are marking me down like thats a bad thing i dont knw or care) . He doesn't look black to me , black just fitted because hes not a white . In america anyone not white is black it seems . Doesn't seem fair to blacks . What if a real asshole comes along that is more white than black but gets called black . If i was black that would piss me off . There is no distinction which- if no one minds- is pretty cool . Im just saying that to colored's here telling them they are black and dont exist would be very disrespectful .

    • Kimani

      what's wrong with Kenyans? I'm one, you got a problem with me, well DO YA!

    • Jay Poe

      Obama is half white!

    • mom424

      You must love it then – he was born in Hawaii, doofus.

      • astraya

        If Obama had been born in Kenya and therefore ineligible to be US president, why would the Democrats have ignored the fact, and how long would it have taken the Republicans to launch a legal challenge? About as many minutes as Joshi's IQ, probably.

    • Mighty Spurs!

      A diplomatic play on words! A sceptic would call you a bigot. The majority of your nation hated the whitehouse with an 'american' in office. Would you be happier with a native American in power? I doubt it very much. By the way, I'm a sceptic…….!

  • missmambo

    erm HELLO scottish parliment building anyone?! it cost approx 300 million to build and everyone hates it! google it people – I guarantee you will puke!

    • Tron

      Wow you're right, it's downright hideous!

    • Chloe

      I actually really like it! I drove past it last year and it was very innovative and, IMO, cool. But I guess not everyone would agree :) Oh and they have some really cool fountain things at the front, I did like those.

    • Ninja_Wallaby

      What was the point of putting windows in that wouldn't get any natural light and only faced another part of the same building? You're right this building is terrible it really should have made the list.

    • mom424

      I don't even understand what the architect was going for. Nothing matches; there is no theme. Ugly block buildings in front of ugly flowy, curvy, building. And what's with the primary school decoration? You're right, it's pretty awful.

  • rain

    number 5 is a beautiful castle

  • Lifeschool

    Some great structurees here – and a few aweful ones. I thought they had left the scaffolding up in #3, but that’s the actual building! #4 reminds me a little bit of the Sidney Opera House, I bet a few people thought that building was wierd when it was constructed??

    Some very nice choices for the list, esp. #7, and although we’ve seen that gothic looking castle before, I never get tired of seeing it. The only disappointment out of the whole thing would be #1 – that structure is basically a pre-fab scoff hole. I was hoping for something for the Leaning Tower, or the Sears Tower, heck, even Blackpool Tower – but McD’s?? Gimme a break.

    On a related note, I wonder if the guy in #7 is a bachelor?

  • Kimani

    I'm confused, is this list about buildings or companies coz McDonald's is a company, should the bonus and #1 switch places.

  • randomizer

    ok now the comments have gone wonkers. DAMN YOU WORDPRESS CANT YOU GET ANYTHING RIGHT.

    Ps. I loved how the new site looked. You have to look at it in a woman’s point of clean, organized, and with great colors. The green they used so eye-catching so much better than the current color.

    • Julius

      SPOILER ALERT! I haven't seen it yet dammit ! ;-)

  • rowilco

    How about the WTC Twin Towers?

    • Moonbeam

      Good call. The towers were hated while they were being built. Now after their horrific destruction, it may have been a too emotionally charged or controversial entry to the list.

    • Alan

      – Second that. People forget the WTC was/were ugly, bland, too big and over-priced for 1970s recession New York. People joked they looked like the boxes the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings came in.

      – Speaking of the ESB, that too was over-priced and under-used in 1930s Depression New York. If memory serves, the ESB took years to fill up and turn a profit.

      – One more: Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. Way over-budget and way under-schedule, built in 1976 and took thirty years to pay off.

  • oouchan

    Mcdonalds……couldn't agree more. Just a disgusting place……..and I worked there! yech!
    And numbers 10, 9 and 8 are all phallic symbols anyway.

    Interesting list.

    • ianz09

      Me too… Currently :(

      • oouchan

        I worked there for 11 months. It was before they started cracking down on unclean conditions. Hated every moment I worked there.

        • ianz09

          11 months of McSlavery. That's gotta blow

      • ELH

        Haha, I thought you currently were a phallic symbol too.

        • ianz09

          I CAN be a pretty big dick sometimes

        • oouchan

          ok….that was funny. :)

  • Nic

    The Olympic Stadium in Montreal could easily make it on that list too!!!! It resembles a huge toilet bowl! :)

  • It's amazing what people would find disgusting back in the middle ages. Neuschwanstein is a beautiful castle.

    • coocoocuchoo

      it wasnt built in the middle-ages, 19th century. its pretty much a castle-shaped mansion as it had no defensive purpose as all medieval castles did.

  • Arsnl

    Well ill speak here from experience. Every building that has been built in france was hated by the french. Its how they roll. Besides the eiffel tower and the pompidou center (which now they love) you also have the louvre pyramide. Its how the roll. If its new, its horrible. Now the currently hate or love the murakami (spelling) expo at versailles.

    And id disagree that snobs or anti americans attack micky d. I like normal cooked food so thats why i dont like or eat micky d. And its not me being snobbish. I dont eat foie gras.

    • mordechaimordechai

      yes it is how they roll.
      I heard something about a centre of islamic culture that was raising quite a storm in the press.
      is it that another case of parisiens being parisiens?
      anyway foie gras is great! Le Train Bleu !!!

  • John

    I live in Minneapolis, and the photo of the Walker Library doesn't look anything like the Walker I go to.

  • Guestiness

    Bungalows are one-story houses. How can you have a two-story bungalow? With the second story not being just an attic?
    Don't use large word you don't understand.

  • Ninja_Wallaby

    I was really liking this list until I got to No.1. McDonalds is a fast food chain and the "hate" it gets is directed at the company not the asthetics of the building. It really is the odd one out in this list. I don't understand it being there, would it be too cynical to say that its a blatant advert. I mean it doesn't even fit in with the introductory paragraph.

    • timmar68

      Maybe people hate what it represents? Maybe the hatred for McDonald's is so great that the sight of the building alone would cause people to blanch? If that's the case I kind of see why it'd be on here.
      I LOVE McDonald's. It's my favorite comfort food.

      • Ninja_Wallaby

        Still seems a little ambiguous to me as one poster before said maybe the No.1 entry and the bonus should be swapped that would seem a much better solution. Better yet replace it with something that isn't ambiguous at all. It just seemed to be a very unnecessary and out of place inclusion.

  • mordechaimordechai

    Also this is a notable one:
    http://www.travel-earth.com/poland/warsaw.jpg

    The Palace of Culture of Warsaw.
    Symbol of the Russian overpower.
    A common saying states that the happiest man in Warsaw is the janitor of the Palace of Culture 'cause he is the only one who doesn't see this building in his landscape outside his windows.

    • mordechaimordechai

      thanks to jan egil kirkegaard for the pic. asshole

    • Mason

      Agreed it looks like a lego building.

  • Sophie

    McDonalds, didn't see what one coming. I thought the Bastille would have been one or something. XD

  • Sophie

    *that, pardon my mistake.

  • Tony

    Yeah, the photo accompanying the Walker Community Library entry is definitely incorrect. Some internet detective work shows it to be a photo of Jay S. Walker's personal home library in Ridgefield, CT (http://www.impactlab.net/2008/10/10/the-amazing-jay-walker-library/). Our Walker Library in Minneapolis is considerably dumpier; it looks on the inside like pretty much any other library built in the early '80s.

  • John Paul II

    What about the Millennium Dome?
    It was a laughing stock when it was first constructed, now everyone loves it.
    Same architect as the Pompidou Centre as well.

  • JMP

    Not nearly a global or even nationally recognized building, but the city I live in has had an uproar with the new art museum. The Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke VA
    http://johnhamill.com/photography_artmuseum.html

    Personally, I think it's genius. Even more beautiful from the inside.

    • gringation

      Very cool :) I'm from Richmond, but I hadn't heard of this one!

    • VintageObsessive

      It should be recognized nationally; it is beautiful.

      • mom424

        Agreed. Lovely,

    • Lola

      How can you not like that?

  • Juancho

    Antoni Gaudí's "modernista" buildings in Barcelona, especially the Casa Milà (La Pedrera) and the still-unfinished Sagrada Família church, were widely mocked for years after they were built.

    • cambered

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but La Sagrada Familia is still being built, is it not?

      • Juancho

        Yes. It's still unfinished. Construction was fairly far along during Gaudí's lifetime, was halted for many years, and then was resumed some thirty years ago. Actually, the new part really is ugly. The newer façade is by pompous overblown architect Subirachs, and depicts the Passion of Christ with a Jesus with no face (but genitalia!). The Roman soldiers look like Imperial Stormtroopers.

        • cambered

          Hey, thanks mate for clearing that up. I have seen the facade you mention and I agree, it does not look as good as the others… never knew until now that it was a different architect altogether. I reckon it is still a magnificent looking structure as a whole.

          Imperial Stormtroopers… lol… if it truly were a dedicated Star Wars facade then I may be more inclined to take up religion! Cheers!

  • I came to this list thinking I was going to see the great eyesore known as Seattle's EMP.
    http://www.azahner.com/portfolio/emp

    You can't tell me people didn't complain about this pile of vomit under the Space Needle.

    • mom424

      It's ugly but it's also very cool. I betcha kids find it fascinating. Not an altogether bad choice for a museum.

    • blogball

      Wow, that is pretty bad.
      Looks like a clown threw up.

      • mom424

        hahahaha

  • flump

    And?

  • Daniel

    Neuschwanstein is actually the castle that inspired the castle in Disneyland.

    • Dane

      And is the castle on the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"

  • Jay

    That's what I call "constructive" criticism.

    • hunter

      Why do they call it building when it's already built?

  • blogball

    On the Washington Monument (#10) you can tell where they stopped and then resumed work after the Civil War by the discoloration about 1/3 of the way up.

    • oliveralbq

      i grew up in d.c., damn near in line of sight of the washington monument. the different shades of rock is something everyone pointed out. on field trips and sight-seeing ventures — we didn't care what colour it was — but as elementary school kids will do, we dubbed it the penis building. like….when we were 7.

      i understand why people didn't like this initially. the buzz when i lived there was that it was sinking. i lived there as a little kid (1977-1983) and that was brought up incessantly.

      one day it would become the leaning tower of penis.

      luckily at 7, this, alone, was sufficient in enhancing our visits.

  • Jay

    To sum up: The main item, the thing the entire intro led up to, was incomprehensible and didn't seem to belong on this list. At least one of the photos (pretending to be the Walker) is some little nothing building no one ever heard of. Mies van der Rohe? Bauhaus isn't featured. Buckminster Fuller (geodesic done) isn't mentioned. Where's FalllingWater, which provoked gales of laughter? Does the Washington Monument actually qualify as a building?

    It's one thing to throw in a controversial item to get people talking. That's even better than a perfect list. But this needs some serious work.

  • Freud was right, the Washinton Monument and the Eiffel Tower are two giant phalli.

    • witcharachne

      Anything longer than it is wide is a phallus to some people. Says more about them than it does about the buildings.

  • aaa

    the reason a lot of these building are on here is that they ARE really ugly. Some ended up being masterpieces, but most still suck just like the way the comments sections looks right now.

  • Folks, I appreciate and welcome all comments about the list, pro & con. But I must ask everyone to cut JFrater some slack. The Minneapolis library that is mis-pictured in this list is not internationally famous, and even so erudite a host as ours might easily be led astray by the internet.

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    "All buildings were once new" What a quote! But seriously cool list

  • Ziraphen

    I'm surprised the Sydney Opera House isn't on this list.

  • Will Trame

    The Guggenheim does look like a toilet bowl. I have to agree that the Washington Monument and the Eiffel Tower are indeed phallic symbols. However, I happen to think that Gaudi’s cathedral is an interesting and appealing work of art. I figure it all boils down to personal taste for the most part.

    BTW, where’s the Leaning Tower of Pisa? That boner of a building rates a mention.

  • Lola

    When I was 6 I visited Paris and the Pompidou Center. I honestly thought it was the most AMAZING thing Ive ever seen in my life. All I could think was "This place has no skin!" Again, I was 6. I would love to visit again.

  • byaaa

    i thought for sure the Louvre would be in this list…. but the french hate everything, so i guess you couldn't have every french building in this list….

  • Alucard

    We NY'ers hated the world trade center until they came down.

  • Jesus

    911 was a lie.

  • World Trade Center twin towers? The Empire State building? Those were hated A LOT during construction. Interestingly, a newspaper published an article saying the towers were too tall, and they included a picture of a plane flying into them.

  • SuperSuie

    Why isn't Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia, on the list? That building is a true eyesore.

  • Justine
  • Jer283

    I think the EMP in Seattle qualifies to be on this list- it looks like a giant metal turd.

  • Canyon Rick

    #5 Neuschwanstein:
    "In fact, the Singer’s Hall was modeled directly after a scene in Parsifal"
    Actually, it's Tannhauser.

  • factcritic

    That number 1 is really annoying me. Simple but a lot of history.

  • Gothic

    French hated the glass pyramid in Louvre made by I.M. Pei.

  • Emilyea

    You showed a picture of the flatiron building in Toronto.

  • Elvia Yonkers

    So… will they be framing the legendary golden pistol? I think it would make a cool insignia to have on a few flags or emblazoned on a few rebel Jeeps.

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  • Pjay

    What bout the twin towers some1 hated them so mUch the crashed planes in em

  • Still hate all of Gehry’s work… the rest of the list’s buildings are ok, ‘cept for McDonald’s

  • Tom Kwiatkowski

    Yeah, Gehry would consider his rape of a charming house in #6 as a “work of art.” He’s a preening hack who invokes modernism indulge his narcissism and hide his lack of true artistic talent.