The ugliest building in every US state, according to people who live there

LY R.I./YouTubeThe Apex Building in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Architecture is a form of art. When a city constructs a new building, it should add beauty to its streetscape.

But that doesn’t always happen. Every town across the United States likely has a tower, a government complex, or an office building that residents wish never went up.

Business Insider asked readers to name the one architectural eyesore they loathe in their state. Responses ranged from a building that looks like a giant wooden basket to a hotel painted solid gold.

The most unpopular buildings – two that were named by nearly a dozen readers – were Boston’s City Hall, a concrete structure that one person described as “depressing,” and Manhattan’s 432 Park Avenue, a skyscraper that another reader said resembles “a very tall trashcan.”

Here are the ugliest buildings in every US state, plus Washington DC:

Alabama — The Government Plaza in Mobile

Wikipedia Commons

Alaska — The Westmark Hotel in Anchorage

Arizona — The City Hall of Tempe

Wikipedia Commons

Dishonorable mentions: The Century Link Tower and BMO Tower in Phoenix

Arkansas — The John Paul Hammerschmidt Federal Building in Fayetteville

Wikipedia Commons

California — A KFC in Los Angeles

Wikipedia Commons

One reader who lives three blocks away said, “It’s ugly, but it gives our neighbourhood flavour.”

Dishonorable mentions: The 8500 Melrose mini-mall in LA; the Ziggurat in Sacramento; the Naval Base in Coronado; Pinnacle Park in San Diego

Colorado — The Denver International Airport

Fly Denver

Dishonorable mention: The Beauvallon Condos in Denver and the Denver Art Museum

Connecticut — The Pirelli Building in New Haven

Wikipedia Commons

Dishonorable mentions: The Lazrus House at Connecticut College in New London; the Bridgeport Center in Bridgeport

Delaware — Dover Downs Hotel & Casino in Dover

District of Columbia — The Watergate complex

Wikipedia Commons

One reader called the complex “Washington, DC’s white whale.”

Dishonorable mention: The Georgetown University Library

Florida — The Majesty Building in Altamonte Springs

Wikipedia Commons

Locals call the Majesty Building the “I-4 eyesore.”

Dishonorable mentions: The Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee; the Wells Fargo Center in Jacksonville

Georgia — The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta

Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Hawaii — The Grand Waikikian Hotel in Honolulu


Idaho — The Zions Bank Building in Boise


Illinois — The Thompson Center in Chicago

Wikipedia Commons

The building is “a point of contention for many Chicagoans,” a reader said.

Dishonorable mentions: The Northwestern University Library in Evanston; the Marina Towers in Chicago

Indiana — The Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend

Hesburgh Library

Iowa — The English-Philosophy Building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City

The University of Iowa

Dishonorable mention: The Boyd Law Building at the University of Iowa College of Law in Iowa City

Kansas — An old warehouse on 101 North Kansas Avenue in Topeka

Google Street View/Screenshot

Kentucky — The Kaden Tower in suburban Louisville

Frank Lloyd Wright’s protégé and son-in-law William Wesley Peters “gifted this monstrosity to Louisville,” one reader said.

Dishonorable mention: The Mercer Tower in Louisville

Louisiana — The Health Sciences Center at Louisiana State University in Shreveport


Maine — The School of Law Building at the University of Maine in Orono

The University of Maine

It looks like a “deconstructed water tower. It literally even has the rusty ladder,” said a reader.

Maryland — The US Census Bureau in Suitland

HKS Architects

“The way CENSUS is written on it is VERY menacing. [There is] very bad energy coming from it,” according to one reader.

Massachusetts — Boston City Hall

Wikipedia Commons

“Do you think they purposefully tried to match the colours from the background-left buildings and the middleground? That’s my only explanation for that colour combination,” said one reader. “Barf.”

Dishonorable mentions: Simmons Hall at MIT in Cambridge; the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield

Michigan — The MotorCity Casino and Hotel in Detroit

World Architecture Communtiy

Dishonorable mentions: The Ypsilanti Water Tower in Ypsilanti; a warehouse on 909 Sheldon Road in Plymouth; the Cobo Center in Detroit

Minnesota — The Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis

“This one causes disorientation,” said a reader.

Dishonorable mentions: The US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis; the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis

Mississippi — The Gold Strike Casino Resort in Robinsonville

The Gold Strike Casino Resort

Missouri — The St. Louis Compton Hill Water Tower

Wikipedia Commons

Montana — The First Interstate Center in Missoula

CTA Group

Nebraska — The Mutual of Omaha Building

Wikipedia Commons

Nevada — The Neonopolis in Las Vegas

Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Weekly

Dishonorable mention: The Veer Towers in Las Vegas

New Hampshire — The former Department of Employment Security Building in Concord


New Jersey — The American Dream Meadowlands Mall in East Rutherford

“I want to be at The American Dream’s funeral,” a reader said.

Dishonorable mention: The Frank R. Lautenberg Rail Station in Secaucus

New Mexico — The New Mexico State Capitol in Santa Fe

New York — A tie between 432 Park Avenue, Penn Station, and Madison Square Garden in New York City

Wikipedia Commons/432 Park AvenueMadison Square Garden/Penn Station (top) and 432 Park Avenue (bottom) in NYC

One reader called Penn Station and Madison Square Garden “the armpits of New York City.” “Penn Station is ugly on a transcendent level,” said another.

“I’m from a close suburb in New Jersey where we’ve always had beautiful skyline views. 432 Park ruined them completely,” a reader said. Another said, “That building is my sworn enemy.”

Dishonorable mentions: the Buffalo City Courthouse; the Central Warehouse in Albany; the Stony Brook Hospital at Stony Brook University; Haven Hall at Syracuse University in Syracuse; Bradfield Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca

North Carolina — The Biltmore Building in Asheville

Rockhounding Around

North Dakota — The North Dakota State Capitol Building in Bismarck

Wikipedia Commons

“The North Dakota State Capital Building in Bismarck is the least inspired building in America,” a reader said.

Ohio — The Longaberger headquarters in Newark

Wikipedia Commons

“It is abysmal,” according to a reader.

Dishonorable mentions: The Peter B. Lewis Building at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland; Caples Hall at Kenyon College in Gambier

Oklahoma — The Weokie Credit Union in Oklahoma City

Google Street View/Screenshot

Oregon — The Portland Building in Portland

Wikimedia Commons

“Every Portlander’s favourite example of a building to hate: The Portland Building,” said one reader.

Dishonorable mention: The Prince Lucien Campbell Hall at the University of Oregon in Eugene

Pennsylvania — The Aramark Tower in Philadelphia

Wikipedia Commons

Dishonorable mentions: The GSB Building in Bala Cynwyd; Wesley W. Posvar Hall at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh

Rhode Island — The Apex Building in Pawtucket

South Carolina — Holiday Inn Charleston-Riverview in Charleston

Holiday Inn

South Dakota — The Qwest Tower in Sioux Falls

Wikipedia Commons

Tennessee — The AT&T Building in Nashville

Wikipedia Commons

Texas — The Alamodome in San Antonio

My San Antonio

According to one reader, “There are so many reasons the Alamodome, in my hometown of San Antonio, is awful … But most of all, it is deeply, inscrutably ugly, with four gigantic pillars hoisting up the domed roof and making the thing look like a dead armadillo.”

Dishonorable mention: The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts in San Antonio

Utah — The Athletic Strength and Conditioning Center at Utah State University

AJC Architects

Vermont — Decker Towers in Burlington

Burlington Housing

Virginia — The Tycon office building in Vienna

Tycon Courthouse

Locals call it “the toilet bowl building,” a reader said.

Washington — The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle

Wikipedia Commons

“This looks like the final project of a freshman architecture student,” according to one reader.

West Virginia — The Bank of Mullens Building in Mullens

Google Street View/Screenshot

Wisconsin — Van Vleck Hall at UW-Madison in Madison


Dishonorable mention: The Humanities Building at UW-Madison in Madison

Wyoming — The Dick Cheney Federal Building in Casper

Wikipedia Commons

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