Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Butt-Fugly Building of the Week-- July 5th

One Parkway (a.k.a. Bell Telephone Company Building, a.k.a. Pennsylvania Bell Headquarters)

1515 Arch Street

Fuck this shit.
                      Ugh, what a craptonius piece of turd this motherfucker is. A big reflective wall of metal for a facade? What the fuck were they thinking? Were they trying to blind people? I don't get it. In what world is a stainless steel facade a good idea? Assyworld, that's what world.
                      In the 1950's Bell Telephone Company was starting to outgrow their 1926 headquarters on the Parkway and needed to expand. They had a limited choice as to where to put their new building because the long distance trunk line only ran under certain streets in the city. Bell chose the corner of 16th and Arch. They approached the architectural firm Francis Cauffman Foley Hoffman and told them, "Design for us the most revolting building you can think of. Be creative... you can make it out of stainless steel for all we care!!".
                     This is what the crappy firm came up with:

They always look so innocent before they're built.
                 It's not like they had some idealized rendering of this thing... they had a full-on 3D model! The boys at Bell should have taken this thing, wiped their asses with it, and sent it back. Mayor Richardson Dilworth also checked the model out... he should have ate it and put this ugly fucker out of its misery.

Mayor Dilworth fucked up.
                    Needless to say, this Steaming Pile of Dirty Punchbowls still ended up getting built.

Under Confucktion.
                    When it was done in 1961, Bell Telephone Company didn't even like it... they occupied the building for less than 30 years until they built a skyscraper that is also along the long distance trunk line. While Bell was in the building, they used to light up the windows at night in different configurations, sort of like the Cira Center does now.

UF? FU!!!
                   There isn't much else to say about this thing other than it sucks. After Bell left, the building was renamed One Parkway even though it doesn't even touch the Parkway. Crappy municipal offices moved in and have been using the building for the past 20 years. It's also about to get a butt-fugly neighbor...

Ah fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

   ...the new Family Court. This motherfucker makes One Parkway look like the WCAU Building. Wow, it's like they were trying to outdo One Parkway in ugly-as-fuckingness. Fifty years later, same general location, same relative size, and this is the best we can come up with? What a fucking shame.


  1. Love Dilworth's comment on where to kill himself. Comedy gold!

  2. This is a rather ugly building. I'm always amazed by some of the things that were put up in this city. You have City Hall, which is one of the most architecturally significant buildings in America and the world. Then you have the concrete Klingdom which has surrounded much of the square. It makes no sense.

  3. Leave it to GrojLart to have just what I am looking for - this is the building where R. Buckminster Fuller recorded his 42 hour extemporaneous stream-of-consciousness "lecture" called "Everything I Know" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6yaSLipeWg