We're number one! (clap, clap) We're number one!


Boston City Hall has been rated the "ugliest building on the planet" in a survey on a travel web site:

A national travel Web site is telling the world what many Bostonians already know - City Hall is ugly.

VirtualTourist.com put City Hall atop its list of the ugliest buildings on the planet, based on a poll of the site's editors and readers.

The California site offered a sharp-tongued assessment of the Hub's center of power.

"While it was hip for it's time, this concrete structure now gets routinely criticized for its dreary facade and incongruity with the rest of the city's more genteel architecture. Luckily, it's very close to more aesthetically pleasing attractions."

What can you expect when the architectural style is called Brutalism? That sounds like something invented in Mordor.


Really, I'm not sure that City Hall deserved the title. I bet the people conducting the survey didn't even know about this competitor, an airplane hangar -- I mean, UFO -- I mean, parish church -- in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Update: Eric Ewanco reminds me of another very strong candidate, St. Malachy Church in Burlington, MA. StMalachyBurlington.jpg He writes:

"At least Sacred Heart is ensconced in glass, instead of this cheap white concrete you see them construct amusement park rides from. Nor does it look like some segment of a gross body part. (SH does kinda look like an eye though.) And it doesn't have the little polyps in front (is the foyer a time machine, transporting us back to the foot of the cross?) or the space antenna in back.

"No, this place should be the ugliest building in the world. I retch just looking at it as I type."

Just for the record, the roof at Sacred Heart looks like aluminum rather than glass. St. Malachy's deserves extra points for its interior: the sloping walls of the exterior paraboloid shape have the same slope within the church, giving sensitive parishioners the impression that the whole building might collapse on them at any time. If that doesn't draw hearts and minds to God, what does?


Let's not forget that floating wooden box at St. Malachy's that they call a Tabernacle.

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On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

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This page contains a single entry by Richard Chonak published on November 14, 2008 4:02 PM.

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