A three judge panel got together for breakfast on Sunday and decided which building in San Francisco deserved to be called the ugliest. There are lots of ugly buildings here. After a bucket of Blue Bottle coffee (Nicaraguan single roast, French Press) we voted. The readers made it easy- turns out there was just one winner. Thanks to all of you who took the interest and time to participate.
And the winner is: Richard Tuck! He wins a gift card to In N'Out Burger.
Richard and our panel both chose One Rincon Hill, after giving it a special dispensation for not being finished.
Oh, there's nothing wrong with big. But big and banal in bronze and beige, not so wonderful. Doesn't look so big? It's not even half-high yet. It will more than double the height in the picture, which was taken today from Bryant & Third Streets, and pop out of the top of your monitor. Or the back of your head. What's really wrong with the building is that people will associate big with ugly, and we'll lose out on the starchitecture project pipeline developing in the Transbay neighborhood. And yes, it's way too close to the Bay Bridge.
Close, but no cigars:
The "Wurlitzer" Marriot on Market Street: demonstrating the ability of humans to carry multi-year grudges. We have to agree that even when Post Modern is revived in twenty years this one still won't look good, and if we'd held an un-popularity contest, the Marriot would have won and we'd go broke giving out prizes.
The Soma Grand: next to the new Federal Building, condemned for its banality, "looks like a college dorm."
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: let's just say someone really, really doesn't like it- just one person, however.
One person dislikes the De Young!
Fox Plaza, circa 1963: condemned for its design, for what it replaced (the very grand Fox Theatre) and for it's welcoming, sophisticated street-level amenities.
Heller-McManus: Anything designed by Heller-McManus! Which was spot-on, but a little broad.
No love for 88 King, which should be in Fort Worth.
The Milton Bernstein Building: it may be ugly, but no photo was attached. It was either get in the car and drive, or have huevos rancheros. Disqualified. Breakfast wins again.