May 02, 2006

Give the shaft the shaft

Even after seeing the National Building Museum's exhibit on concrete architecture, I find cement buildings to be universally ugly.

For instance, the I-395 Center Leg Freeway underpass ventilation shaft is one of the ugliest things I've ever seen. Known to some D.C. insiders as the "Nixon Memorial," the cement structure is located behind the Union Labor Life Building just above the 3rd Street Tunnel.

At one point, it was partially covered by a clothing ad. My solution is to expand on that idea and drape it entirely in Times Square-style billboards. After all, nothing could possibly be uglier than what it is now.

Speaking of cityscape ads, this T-Mobile campaign has invaded ChinaVerizonTown. Keeping with my policy of wanting advertising only when it covers up ugly concrete, I oppose the T-Mobile sidewalk ads.

Cover up something other than nice cobblestone, please.

12 comments:

Josh said...

Since when is littering legal?

dl004d said...

Littering isn't legal.

Companies must receive a permit from the mayor for these sidewalk ad campaigns. And you'll recall that Verizon was fined $1,050 for using chalk to draw ads on the sidewalk in Adams Morgan.

In any case, chalking up sidewalks is different from, say, throwing a soda can on the ground.

Josh said...

Leaving piece of paper on the ground, in my book, is littering.

It's a very boring book.

Eric said...

"Nothing could possibly be uglier than what it is now." Surely SOMETHING could be uglier.

dl004d said...

I stand by my statement. Have you seen this thing?

Eric said...

Yes. But there's a big concrete cathedral in Hartford, which is allegedly intended to be aesthetically pleasing, and fails completely. At least there was function over form to consider with the ventilation shaft.

instant_ethos said...

I invite you to view the ugliest concrete structure on the Eastern Seaboard. To add to the charm, this building is now vacant and rotting as much as concrete can possibly rot.

axelrod said...

I can actually look out on this thing from our front window - and it is included it in my favorite view from our place. At ground level (especially coming from the East) it is ugly and really just perplexing - 5 floors up on the West side it give us a nice mural to look at.

dl004d said...

I'd be fine with the mural if it covered more of the cement.

MattandJodi said...

If only the streets were paved with delicious chocolate instead, eh?

It is NOT an air vent for the entire metro system, I can tell you that.

Anonymous said...

Concrete is made with cement, but the two are not the same thing --

dl004d said...

Thanks, Anonymous. But whatever this thing is made of, it's u-g-l-y.