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
Alaska — The Westmark Hotel in Anchorage
Arizona — The City Hall of Tempe
Dishonorable mentions: The Century Link Tower and BMO Tower in Phoenix
Arkansas — The John Paul Hammerschmidt Federal Building in Fayetteville
California — A KFC in Los Angeles
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
Dishonorable mention: The Beauvallon Condos in Denver and the Denver Art Museum
Connecticut — The Pirelli Building in New Haven
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
One reader called the complex “Washington, DC’s white whale.”
Dishonorable mention: The Georgetown University Library
Florida — The Majesty Building in Altamonte Springs
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
Hawaii — The Grand Waikikian Hotel in Honolulu
Idaho — The Zions Bank Building in Boise
Illinois — The Thompson Center in Chicago
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
Iowa — The English-Philosophy Building at the University of Iowa in Iowa City
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
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
It looks like a “deconstructed water tower. It literally even has the rusty ladder,” said a reader.
Maryland — The US Census Bureau in Suitland
“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
“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
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
Missouri — The St. Louis Compton Hill Water Tower
Montana — The First Interstate Center in Missoula
Nebraska — The Mutual of Omaha Building
Nevada — The Neonopolis in Las Vegas
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
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
North Dakota — The North Dakota State Capitol Building in Bismarck
“The North Dakota State Capital Building in Bismarck is the least inspired building in America,” a reader said.
Ohio — The Longaberger headquarters in Newark
“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
Oregon — The Portland Building in Portland
“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
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
South Dakota — The Qwest Tower in Sioux Falls
Tennessee — The AT&T Building in Nashville
Texas — The Alamodome in 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
Vermont — Decker Towers in Burlington
Virginia — The Tycon office building in Vienna
Locals call it “the toilet bowl building,” a reader said.
Washington — The Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle
“This looks like the final project of a freshman architecture student,” according to one reader.
West Virginia — The Bank of Mullens Building in Mullens
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
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.