Sunday, June 12, 2005

Part III: The Ugly

Some buildings are just plain ugly. In Chicago, we have a breed of so-called Four Plus Ones. They consist of 4 stories plus the main level for garages. Many were built in the 1960's when for a period of time construction standards were lowered. After a public outcry against these buildings and the lower standards, they ceased being built.

But it was too late to save the multitude of what must have been superior architectural structures that were leveled to make room for these monsters. I read about what happened in the nearby Edgewater neighborhood on the Edgewater Historical Society website.

I remember my Dad pointing these buildings out when I was a pre-teen. Gee, I wonder where I got my sensibilities about architecture...

With no further ado, here are the contenders. I know there are better examples of bad architecture and homes in disrepair. These are just the ones I look at almost daily that stick in my craw.

Here's a building around the corner and down the street from us that ressembles a Four Plus One except it's smaller and has no parking level. Oftentimes, the door to this building is wide open and the grass gets about waist-high before it gets cut. It's a rental and a bad one at that.

Sometimes a beautiful structure is let go, and that to me qualifies as "ugly". Case in point the lovely home below that is desperately crying out for paint to save it's priceless architectural details before they rot from exposure.

Beautiful home in danger.

Try buying a replacement for this at Home Depot!

or this...

If only these folks owned the above, maybe they would have painted it. And maybe that would have saved this grey stone from its white paint.

Maybe it will just wear off eventually...we can hope.

Here's a Recap if you're interested:
Part 1 The Good
Part 2 The Bad
Part 3 The Ugly
Final Installment: The Beautiful (Coming Soon)


Brian said...

Thanks for writing such a great series! I really enjoyed the story (and I really cringed at the bad and the ugly!).


misschrisc said...

I really enjoyed "The Good" so I can only imagine how amazing "The Beautiful" will be. It seems like you had lots of fun. I'm surprised that you didn't get shot at though with all these daring close ups! Round here we call that trespassin' missy! :p

Jocelyn said...

Not in the city- plus I have a 4X zoom so I wasn't as close as it seems :)

City lots are not that big and walking down the sidewalk, you are pretty close to people's homes.

Greg said...

Ewww! “Four-Plus-One” – even the name sounds ugly. You’ve got your Brownstones, Craftsmans, Queen Annes, Bungalows and then – Four- Plus-Ones. “Hey Bernie, I just got a Four- Plus-One!”

It is not a style, but more a utilitarian description of an uninspired form. It is not a home it is dwelling in the most basic sense. Even worse, it sounds like a government designation. “Your gunna need form Four-Plus-One before I can process that application, bub.”

Greg said...

PS: I can't wait to see The Beautiful. A world class city like Chicago must be filled with them!