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ugliest structure downtown :]


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Poll: Of these, which is the ugliest structure downtown? (78 member(s) have cast votes)

Of these, which is the ugliest structure downtown?

  1. Star Telegram Building (aluminum beast @ 5th/6th/Taylor) (13 votes [16.67%])

    Percentage of vote: 16.67%

  2. Purina Plant (19 votes [24.36%])

    Percentage of vote: 24.36%

  3. Landmark Tower (4 votes [5.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.13%

  4. FWCC Arena (flying saucer @ 9th/Main) (2 votes [2.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.56%

  5. SBC Building (31 votes [39.74%])

    Percentage of vote: 39.74%

  6. Care-a-lot Inn (9 votes [11.54%])

    Percentage of vote: 11.54%

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#51 AndyN

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 12:19 PM

On a tangent, Dismuke's favorite downtown building that was recently demolished provides a great sightline for the Courthouse. Driving down Belknap past the courthouse the past several nights, I have seen the entire building all lit up and it would make a great photograph from that angle. I have recently lost my camera, so it would be up to someone else to get a few snaps before the new building once again obscures the view.
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#52 Fort Worthology

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 06:37 PM

QUOTE(texastrill @ Dec 7 2006, 10:07 AM) View Post



A question within a question,I guess.
Actually I was hoping something was being done to make the SBC easy on the eyes.Can anybody say wrecking ball? cheeburga.gif


Actually, the city's plans for Hyde Park include a beacon that shines images on the blank SBC, err, AT&T building walls. Might as well make some use of the thing. smile.gif

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#53 John T Roberts

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 08:22 AM

I can't remember exactly when it was heard, but AT&T did go before the Downtown Design Review Board to replace the non-lighted SBC logo with a lighted AT&T Globe and Letters.

#54 John T Roberts

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 06:04 PM

I was downtown this afternoon and the SBC sign is down. The new AT&T sign will have the globe about 1 floor below where the SBC was located with the letters "at&t" below the globe. From the mounting brackets on the building it appears this sign will be incredibly oversized for the building's facade. Also, within about one year, the sign will be partially blocked by the Omni Fort Worth Hotel.

#55 Perkins

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 09:31 PM

QUOTE(Atomic Glee @ Dec 7 2006, 06:37 PM) View Post

QUOTE(texastrill @ Dec 7 2006, 10:07 AM) View Post



A question within a question,I guess.
Actually I was hoping something was being done to make the SBC easy on the eyes.Can anybody say wrecking ball? cheeburga.gif


Actually, the city's plans for Hyde Park include a beacon that shines images on the blank SBC, err, AT&T building walls. Might as well make some use of the thing. smile.gif



Maybe project images of "WINDOWS" newlaugh.gif
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#56 Dismuke

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 11:41 PM

ATT = Architecture That's Terrible
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#57 John T Roberts

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 05:39 AM

I watched them install the "AT&T Globe" yesterday afternoon for a little while. A photographer that I know from the Star-Telegram was photographing the event around the same time. The picture was placed on the front page of the "Fort Worth" section along with statistics from the sign.

#58 John T Roberts

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 06:28 PM

Here is the article on the sign installation from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

http://www.dfw.com/m...al/16237951.htm

#59 cbellomy

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 01:48 AM

Over the course of getting acquainted with all the discussions at this site, I have seen much bashing of the former SBC Building (now AT&T, I guess), but as someone who has some knowledge of the telco business, I should speak up in its defense a bit.

First of all, to me, that building's name is simply "Edison." Edison is the home to the downtown Central Office (CO) where the telephone switches reside. If you remember back to the older days of the telephone network, you may remember when phone numbers were part letters and part numbers, as in ED2-0000, or PE7-0000 or whatever. The letters corresponded to the COs to which those phones were directly connected. In Fort Worth, the switches whose old nicknames I remember were:

ED (33) - Edison - Downtown
PE (73) - Pershing - Near west side
WA (92) - Walnut - Near south side
MA (62) - Market - Near north side
JE (53) - Jefferson - Near east side

Anyway, if you go look at any of these buildings, they all look like fortresses. That is because the government required the phone company (back in the days of monopoly) to build them to withstand just about any event short of nuclear bombing. That's why they rarely have windows -- to make them tornado-resistant.

If you think about it, this makes sense, as you don't want to lose your entire telephone network when a storm strikes. It can literally be a life-and-death deal, especially today with the advent of 911 service.

Anyway, if anyone ever has spied an attractive CO, I'd like to know. Probably the least offensive is the Pershing CO (on Pershing Avenue, in the old Arlington Heights School building west of the Camp Bowie intersection), at least insofar as the old part of it isn't awful. Walnut is on Willing just north of Berry; I do not remember where Market and Jefferson are. There also are outlying COs, which don't have numbers to match their names. The Wedgwood CO, for instance, is on Wedgmont Circle South at Walraven. The Westland CO is just off Highway 80 (screw TxDOT, it's always going to be Highway 80 to me) on Alemeda, just west of 820. These are all extremely prosaic structures, but functional.

The crime to me about Edison is the hodgepodge nature of the way they built around the older structures. I can understand the need to build a big facility that looks like Fort Phone, but to me Edison looks like it was just added on with no aesthetic consideration at all. But at least there is some justification for its ugliness.

#60 vjackson

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 09:13 AM

I don't know what the building is, but in the Ryan Place neighborhood
there is a more attractive phone company building. I'm not sure, but it might be on Willing or 6th Ave.

#61 Perkins

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 11:17 AM

[quote name='cbellomy' date='Dec 28 2006, 01:48 AM' post='32837']
Over the course of getting acquainted with all the discussions at this site, I have seen much bashing of the former SBC Building (now AT&T, I guess), but as someone who has some knowledge of the telco business, I should speak up in its defense a bit.

First of all, to me, that building's name is simply "Edison." Edison is the home to the downtown Central
Anyway, if you go look at any of these buildings, they all look like fortresses. That is because the government required the phone company (back in the days of monopoly) to build them to withstand just about any event short of nuclear bombing. That's why they rarely have windows -- to make them tornado-resistant.

If you think about it, this makes sense, as you don't want to lose your entire telephone network when a storm strikes. It can literally be a life-and-death deal, especially today with the advent of 911 service.


I find that information very interesting, nice info cbellomy!

Now that I think about it, in other cities (where I have benn) I have noticed the phone company buildings and that they were tall, and pretty bland as well. They seemed to be an eyesore in other cities skylines as well as our own.
Very interesting, when I was growing up, and at my grandmothers in Whitie Settlement, she always told people her phone number was a CI6 #...... for years, I thought that was the way you shared your phone number.

Thanks for sharing it with the forum!! smile.gif



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#62 John T Roberts

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 08:17 PM

I agree with you Chris, that the Edison building does appear as if it were added on with no aesthetic consideration. From what I have been told, the reason they did this is that they were never able to take the equipment out of service when an addition was made; therefore, they had no choice but to leave the older sections of buildings in place.

The building in Ryan Place that everyone is referring, is the Walnut Exchange building. It is located on the northeast corner of Willing and Bowie and most of the Art Deco detailing is still intact, but the last addition put a 3rd floor under a mansard roof on top, which is very ugly. The Market and Jefferson Exchange buildings still stand and they continue to be used by the phone company.

#63 cbellomy

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 09:27 PM

John, where are the Market and Jefferson offices?

#64 John T Roberts

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:17 PM

The Market office is located at 2405 Chestnut and the Jefferson office is located at 3228 Avenue G.

Many of these buildings we have discussed have either their own pages or a listing of their names, addresses, and dates of construction at http://www.fortwortharchitecture.com. You can click a photograph and go to the downtown page, or you can select a section of town to see the individual building listings. Then, if you want to read more about the building, click on the link leading you directly to a building page.

Here's a photograph of the Walnut Exchange Building, which is just a few blocks from my house:
IPB Image

#65 Fort Worthology

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Posted 28 December 2006 - 10:50 PM

OUCH! That mansard roof HURTS!

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#66 vjackson

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Posted 29 December 2006 - 08:07 AM

John thanks for posting the photo from the old neighborhood. It's funny, I totally forgot about that ugly roof!!! I must of mentally blocked it out.

#67 Perkins

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 09:17 AM

It reminded me of the Pizza Hut comercials, where the big, oversized, red roof falls on the house. laugh.gif
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#68 AndyN

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 06:08 PM

Maybe this should be another topic, but has anyone seen the CI Host Building on the northside of 121/183 in H-E or B? That went from being a bland commercial building to Telecom Bunker in short order recently I think they just stuccoed right over the winders. They're trying to do the Edison building proud. I can't believe the city (whichever one it's in) signed off on that.

As for exchanges, I've always been an EMerson man myself.
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#69 JBB

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 08:12 PM

Not only did they turn it into a bunker, but they also made into a 3 story billboard. It has a rather unfinished, amateur look about it, although it wasn't much a gem before the change.

#70 JBB

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Posted 04 January 2010 - 04:03 PM

Funny story from Gothamist about an ugly building in NYC:

http://gothamist.com...on_building.php

#71 David Love

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 05:31 PM

We need to update this one, remove the Star Telegram building and add the Bunker / Ammo Depot.

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#72 John T Roberts

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 09:39 PM

The Landmark Tower is gone and the Care-A-Lot Inn has been remodeled. It may be time to close this thread and start a new poll. If that was done then this original poll would be essentially archived.

#73 Dismuke

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Posted 10 January 2010 - 11:38 PM

QUOTE (John T Roberts @ Jan 10 2010, 10:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Landmark Tower is gone and the Care-A-Lot Inn has been remodeled. It may be time to close this thread and start a new poll. If that was done then this original poll would be essentially archived.



Hmmmm. Being listed on this particular poll does not seem to be a very good thing for a building. Three of the six are either gone or have had their appearances altered. Perhaps you should keep it open and see if there is any way that you can add the TCC monstrosity to the list and hope that the trend will continue with it as well.
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#74 Jeriat

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 11:15 AM

Anyone have a pic of the Care-a-lot Inn?

Because I have NO idea what that is.

7fwPZnE.png

 

8643298391_d47584a085_b.jpg


#75 John T Roberts

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 07:16 PM

It's been redone as the Holiday Inn Express & Suites at the corner of Henderson and Lancaster.  It was incredibly ugly when it was the Care-A-Lot Inn, but now it looks like a run of the mill motel.



#76 djold1

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 07:37 PM

FWIW... My ugly structure list:

 

1.  The TCC campus on the bluffs... 

2.  The twin tasteless glass towers lacking any redeeming visual appeal.

3.  The sad, featureless, inappropriately located little loft building next to the monumental T&P Terminal building

4.  The chintzy big-box exterior of the MOM..

5.  The cheesy, moldy rubble-in-waiting on the bluffs in Heritage Park. 


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#77 Jeriat

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 12:12 AM

It's been redone as the Holiday Inn Express & Suites at the corner of Henderson and Lancaster.  It was incredibly ugly when it was the Care-A-Lot Inn, but now it looks like a run of the mill motel.

 

OH, ok...  


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#78 johnfwd

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:34 AM

One of the ugliest structures:  the covered parking lot on Lancaster across from the T&P Warehouse.  And, I believe it will succumb to the someday-to-be-built mixed-used project.



#79 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:53 AM

Let me add to the list the federal parking garage by Lancaster which seems to be just about the only non-freeway, non-demolition component to have come out of the Gruen Plan. It just kills so much of that end of downtown.

#80 Volare

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:37 AM

Any list like this that does not include the AT&T building is suspect...



#81 RenaissanceMan

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 09:44 AM

Any list like this that does not include the AT&T building is suspect...


I will say this... the one reason why I am willing to cut the AT&T building some slack is that it at least has a reason for looking the way it does as a result of its function (particularly given the time in which it was built) - it's a giant switchboard clad in brick. Are there probably some ways to improve it aesthetically? Sure. But at least its ugliness isn't the result of an architect's juvenile and ill-advised attempt to "express" him or herself. There plenty of other buildings that were made ugly on purpose.

#82 RD Milhollin

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:14 AM

The "ugliest" part of the ATT Switchboard Building is the complete lack of street-level interaction. Being directly across from the Convention Center would seem to be a good place for visitor-related retail and service businesses, but all that greets the pedestrian is blank brick. 



#83 Austin55

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 12:24 PM

There's always large groups of employees smoking outside the entrance on Houston to. It's quite obnoxious, really a great thing to greet or tourists.

I'd add the Hilton Annex and Criminal Courts And Jail building. That huge white brick thing. If TCC ruined the bluff, that thing is just a like of crap that sits on top of it. The give garage behind it makes it worse. Great view though.

#84 dangr.dave

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:59 PM

Honorable mentions also to the Texas Workforce Comission building near Lancaster

8092578190_bac18e9c03_z.jpg
Texas Workforce Commission by dangr.dave, on Flickr

 

and, our favorite bedbug-infested building, Hunter Plaza

8985475147_27c7bc77ed_z.jpg
The hunter has become the hunted by dangr.dave, on Flickr



#85 Volare

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 03:23 PM

I believe both OKC and Tulsa have similarly massive and ugly AT&T buildings.



#86 Jeriat

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 06:07 PM

My only gripe about the AT&T Building is the location, as mentioned. 

Yeah, I know it was there before the Convention Center, Water Gardens, and Omni. But because of what was built around it, the building has dropped in appeal over the years....  well, more than what it had, anyway.

 

If it couldn't be in a different location, I'd want to build another somewhere else around downtown while making the current AT&T site something else. As some of you already know, I've done a couple personal projects on the matter.  

 

 

 

I believe both OKC and Tulsa have similarly massive and ugly AT&T buildings.

 

I'm really beginning to hate (even more) being put in the same box as OKC and Tulsa. I'd think we would be at least A tier above those two... 


7fwPZnE.png

 

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#87 BlueMound

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 06:10 PM

Sheraton Hotel Towers
yellow/orange paint next to brown brick ???????

and this design scheme was a result of a multi-million dollar renovation

inexcusable

#88 JBB

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 06:32 PM

I'm really beginning to hate (even more) being put in the same box as OKC and Tulsa. I'd think we would be at least A tier above those two...


2668451847_7543d1a75c.jpg

New York City has an ugly telephone building too. Does that make it all better, poor little guy?

Been to Tulsa or OKC lately? I have no problem with FW being on a tier with either of those towns.

#89 Jeriat

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:04 PM

 

I'm really beginning to hate (even more) being put in the same box as OKC and Tulsa. I'd think we would be at least A tier above those two...


2668451847_7543d1a75c.jpg

New York City has an ugly telephone building too. Does that make it all better, poor little guy?

Been to Tulsa or OKC lately? I have no problem with FW being on a tier with either of those towns.

 

 

I've been to OKC, not Tulsa, but OKC is the largest city in that state. It's fine for what it is, but we're MUCH larger than both cities in both city limits and metro area (without the Dallas side of the Metroplex, even) so that's why I consider it at least one tier above it. 

I'd much rather be in contention with Charlotte, Columbus, and Indy. 


7fwPZnE.png

 

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#90 PeopleAreStrange

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:16 PM

I would consider Fort Worth a tier above Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

 

The Fort Worth metro division (seperate from Dallas) has just over 2 million people.

The Oklahoma City metro area has just over 1 million people.

The Tulsa metro area has just under 1 million people.

 

-----------------------------------------------

 

The old Verizon tower in NYC doesn't look that bad to me; at least it looks like a tall tower. Our AT&T building is a big box.

 

EDIT: and it's the perfect location for a skyscraper.


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#91 JBB

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:51 PM

The Verizon building is thought by some to be the ugliest building in NYC.

#92 Austin55

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 07:55 PM

AT&T is the master of hideous buildings. I'm surprised they have the gall to put thier logo on such hideous things. 

 

Kansas City

215315-Large.jpg

 

Birmingham

446349-Large.jpg

 

Omaha

 

AT%26T_Building,_Omaha,_Nebraska.jpg

 

Denver

AT%26T_building_addition,_Denver.jpg

 

L.A.

Att_building_LA.jpg

 

L.A. again

714650-Large.jpg

 

OKC

oklahoma_city_central_2.jpg

 

Atlanta

AHLB5534.jpg

 

And everyone's favorite, New York, which actually has a taller roof than Burnett Plaza's.

 

4757380391_d21e668e1e_z.jpg



#93 Jeriat

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 10:08 PM

AT&T is the master of hideous buildings. I'm surprised they have the gall to put thier logo on such hideous things. 

 

Kansas City

215315-Large.jpg

 

Birmingham

446349-Large.jpg

 

Omaha

 

AT%26T_Building,_Omaha,_Nebraska.jpg

 

Denver

AT%26T_building_addition,_Denver.jpg

 

L.A.

Att_building_LA.jpg

 

L.A. again

714650-Large.jpg

 

OKC

oklahoma_city_central_2.jpg

 

Atlanta

AHLB5534.jpg

 

And everyone's favorite, New York, which actually has a taller roof than Burnett Plaza's.

 

4757380391_d21e668e1e_z.jpg

 

I can forgive Atlanta. It's boring, but not hideous. 

And even the first one in L.A. at least has an interesting... crown? Spire? I don't know what to call it, but it adds SOME character to it. The other one in L.A. isn't great but it's a hell of a lot better than just giant stone/brick walls on each side. 

The rest are all just horrid. In every sense of the word. 


7fwPZnE.png

 

8643298391_d47584a085_b.jpg


#94 JBB

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 11:10 PM

I'm glad you quoted all of the pics from his post. I would have had no idea what you were talking about.

#95 Volare

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:58 AM

Nice compilation by Austin55!

 

Funny thing is with all the computerization of these things, all that switching equipment is probably obsolete and/or fits in a closet now.



#96 Fort Worthology

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 08:15 AM

That Omaha one - you can tell it *used* to have a friendlier ground floor, before it was all bricked over.  That's a shame.  Likewise, a better street interaction on our own AT&T building would go a long way for me to overlook its many other aesthetic shortcomings.


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Fort Worth District 9 Zoning Commissioner


#97 John T Roberts

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:09 AM

I have actually never had a problem with the first one shown from Los Angeles.  It's a Mid-Century Modern Building, completed in 1961.  The one thing that I like is the Art Deco microwave tower.  It ads a touch of character to the building.  By the way, the building is the same height with the tower as the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. 

 

If you look carefully at most of these buildings, you can see that they have been expanded both vertically and horizontally, and the additions were much less sympathetic to the pedestrian, or the original structure.



#98 dangr.dave

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:26 AM

Dallas:

9948293054_1894606a63_z.jpg
Call me sometime by dangr.dave, on Flickr



#99 John T Roberts

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 09:42 AM

Dave, the one in Dallas, located on Bryan Ave, that you have shown is another typical AT&T Building.  The original structure is Art Deco, and has been expanded vertically and horizontally.  The taller addition used to have a big microwave drum on top that significantly added to its height.



#100 Not Sure

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 10:06 AM

I remember going to the building on Bryan with my dad since he would occasionally take me on "his rounds" to various clients. I grew up near one of the similar nondescript switching buildings and this was like the granddaddy to the one I knew. Since they've always been familiar to me and since I might have had a better understanding of their function growing up, I don't hate these buildings as many seem to. While I appreciate any effort to make the exterior look cool and different, I don't like the hodgepodge effects of periodic expansion. I'm also not too keen on attempts to hide the microwave equipment, but some of the buildings shown are successful at doing just that.

 

Considering the value these buildings have had historically as infrastructure, I'm sympathetic to them. I feel exactly the same way about the Purina plant. There are lines and shapes that exist only for function and aren't intended to evoke any emotion or interact with the environment in any way. But some of these unique and ugly buildings helped build this place and others like it. It's the buildings that didn't shoulder any of that responsibility and are ugly only because someone didn't care enough to design and build something worthwhile that are truly out of place.






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