Thursday, January 12, 2012

Butt-Fugly Building of the Week-- January 12th

Meyerson Hall

210 South 34th Street

That's painful.
                    They teach architecture in this building? That's a goddamn atrocity!!! What in the motherfuck were they thinking? It looks like a shitty suburban hotel. This is wrong. This is just fucking wrong. There are just so many things you can say about a building as shitty as this one.. but the ultimate insult is to architecture itself.
                   This shitbag of a building was plopped here based on a comedy of errors. As part of the mid-1960's version Penn Master Plan (which has many a delicious Dead-Ass Proposal in it, I might add), a new building for the Fine Arts program would be built. The first idea was actually worse than what we have here... it was to build a 1960's-style addition to the Supermegakickasstastic Furness University Library building. That would have been a damn tragedy.
                    Luckily, it never happened. They instead chose the plot next door. For the design, the school wanted to use its starchitect faculty member/alumnus, Louis Kahn. You know, that guy who gets his assed kissed up and down by the world of architecture. Something went horribly wrong and Kahn didn't get the job. Instead, it went to the firm of one of the University Trustees: Stewart, Noble, and Class; the dickheads behind the prosposed-but-never-fucking-built Academy Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia.
                 They came up with a design that was based on Kahn's type of shit. Strangely, no one looked at the plans and said, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!". The motherfucker got built in 1967, and the oldest architecture program in America moved into one of the ugliest piles of brick and concrete in America. They made it a knock-off Kahn like those funny knock-off action figures you can get at the Italian Market.

Like this, but as a Louis Kahn building.
                Is it supposed to be a robot version of Castle Greyskull? I don't fucking get it!!!! I always thought the Guild House was the shittiest building in the city, but I think we have a new winner here. This is fucking ridiculous. I don't even need to tell you about the ugly sides and back of it. The front is bad enough.
                 In 1983, someone must have wanted to really piss off Professor Emeritus Martin Meyerson because in that year, this Hanging Gardens of Buttsmack got named after him. I bet they were like "Sorry, you old bastard."
                   It really is a damn shame that this donkeyshit is so close to one of Philadelphia's greatest buildings. Any time I want to check out the good ol' Furness Fortress now known as the Fisher Fine Arts Library,  I have to puke afterward due to the presence of Meyerson Hall. Fuck you, Meyerson Hall.

In 1990. God, it sucks.


  1. And just wait until you get inside of this sad unfriendly place. There's no way to get from point A to point B--unless you walk up three flights of stairs, cross an open area, go back outside, walk through a classroom, turn around, walk down three flights, and then ask for directions...

  2. Kahn was not asked to design the building because the University thought the Richards Medical Research Labs (also on Penn's campus) were a colossal failure. Kahn vowed to never step foot in Meyerson Hall, and taught all of his classes from that point on in the Fine Arts Library.

  3. Totally agree Ive asked myself Why? on a number of occasions...thanks for the answers...While we are on the subject of Penn...What about the giant dildo trash can that houses Wharton?

  4. I imagine that the two major qualifications to be a tour guide at Penn are walking backwards and the ability to say, "And this is the Fine Arts building" without laughing.

    And the apochryphal story I heard about the Wharton Death Star was that all the faculty wanted corner offices.

  5. Remember when Penn Design announced plans that they were going to place the architecture school into a brand new building designed by Renzo Piano, and Gary Hack brought Piano to the school for a big announcement and speech, and then nothing happened and the plans were ultimately scrapped? That was awesome.

  6. Not to defend the building's beauty or anything, but you are raving like a madman about it, and not really discussing any of the building's merits, which you may be able to do if you were actually a student of architecture.

    1. Pretty much the entire point of this blog is that I'm NOT a student of architecture.