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Wednesday, 21 December 2005
Fugliest Building in Chicago's Loop?
Topic: Architecture / Chicago
Today I walked all over downtown Chicago on a quest for perfect holiday gifts. I say "holiday" because my family and friends are of various religious backgrounds, and it's semantically appropriate to be sensitive to this. I can't believe people think of this as a "War on Christmas." Being inclusive is not a move of aggression or a method of belittling Christian faith, which supposedly preaches toleration and outreach. Are these upset people sick of having to put up a false front of toleration and political correctness, and are now just blowing up and insisting on explicitly exerting their hegemonic majority as openly and straightforward as they would like? Well, "Happy Holidays" motherfuckers.

So anyway, I was shopping downtown and found myself in front of this parking garage building that I've admired from time to time before. I was always under the impression that the word "fugly" was a contraction of "fucking ugly" ("f'ugly"?), but then I recently read somewhere that referred to it as meaning "fabulously ugly," which, while a more intriguing concept, is dubious, I think. Nevertheless, this building in the loop, a Self Park garage at 60 East Lake Street, fits both of those definitions. The tire-shaped canopies are goofy but maybe amusing in a campy way. I think, from my 1 semester of experience, that architects sometimes refer to this sort of shit, when they are trying to be positive, as "whimsical." Above the "whimsical" tire-canopies are gratings shaped like sideways pointed arches through which you can see a Coke machine.
The upper level is graced with 2 small porthole windows on either side of the facade. One of the portholes has managed to hold on to its bubbly plastic hemisphere over all these years since teal was a good idea. On the roof you may be able to discern a statue. If I had to guess, I would say it appears to be a man in a WWI aviator hat swinging a human femur. If anyone knows anything about this building, or has an opinion re: its fugliness, let me know.

Posted by thenovakids at 8:11 PM CST
Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006 12:07 AM CDT
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