May 22 2010

Urban Decay, Grand Junction

Recently on a trip to Grand Junction, Colorado, I stumbled upon this rundown condo complex. Being a native of Grand Junction, I watched this complex get built, and so was totally floored with how much it had gone into disrepair.  This complex was built around 1983 about the time of the big bust in Grand Junction. While certainly not high quality construction in the first place, they were still rather nice condos for the time. My guess is these were used as rentals over the last couple of decades, and not maintained at all. I knew that the landscape had died some time ago, but I was still amazed to see how fast something that can fall apart due to lack of maintenance. These buildings will need to be gutted and almost rebuilt if they are to come back. Of course, then there is also the issue of the ridiculously small windows that were common in that time period. I will have to check back from time to time to see if anything happens with these.

Apr 27 2009

April Fuglie

Okay, I will admit, this is not fugly, just plain dumb. It also isn’t often I give a fugly award to a project that I just gave high accolades too (see previous post). But as part of the Seventh Street reconstruction project, the planners decided to add diaganol parking, that you have to BACK INTO! I can only imagine the fender benders that are going to occur with someone stopping in traffic, starting to back up into the parking spot, only to have the person behind them not notice and running into them. This parking situation has had such an outcry against it, that the planners have decided to never do it again. Don’t get me wrong, I think diagonal parking is a great idea, and should be encouraged on more streets, but done the traditional way with pulling in forwards, and then backing out. A lot less dangerous in my opinion.

Dec 25 2008

Fugly December ’08

I ran across this project awhile back in Grand Junction, and I was simply floored by it. In this day, with all the design professionals, stringent planning departments, and all, why do we continue to build such fugly housing? I understand the need to build homes that are affordable, but why on earth do we need to build multi-family housing straight as a Kansas Highway?

This particular building has 5 units in it, with the street facade dominated by garages, and hard to find front doors. Why not add on some bumpouts to break up the second floor, add a little ornamentation to the roof line, etc? There are simple things that can be done that adds dramatically to the character, without adding much cost.

What makes this even worse, is that these buildings are lined up barack style, and covered with a drab coloraed vynil siding material. Talk about going from bad to worse. I would have thought we would have learned lessons from all the 60’s housing projects that are now being torn down. I guess not.

Jun 9 2008

June 2008 Fugglies

OK, this belong more in the WTF category than ugly. I found this playground in a New Urbanism community. Not just any community, but a very celebrated one that prides itself on its high end and well regulated architecture. So why on earth would they fence in a playground….much less with a chain link fence? I haven’t seen chain link fences anywhere else in the community, so I didn’t think they were even allowed.

Now I can understand wanting to keep kids out of the street…but there are far better ways of doing it…wrought iron fence comes to mind, with some openings to actually get into the playground. I don’t know, all I do is shake my head.

Mar 16 2008

Fugglies March 2008

I found this during one of my wandering adventures the other day. Now I admit this isn’t particularly ugly, but just plain stupid. In this development I found several blocks of homes that had an alley running behind them. That is all fine and good. Trouble is, most of the homes were built with front load garages, and not alley load garages. In this particular development, this is a waste of resources since the front load homes require a fairly substantial setback. This leaves the homes with a very small backyard. The few rear load homes that were built, had shorter front setbacks, and bigger backyards. The second problem is, this was just a waste of land and resources to build the alley, that won’t get used for its intended purpose. Sometimes, I wonder what developers/builders and homebuyers are thinking.