Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Austin Buildings Garner National Nods and Frowns

The American Institute of Architects released its annual list of America’s 150 favorite architectural landmarks last week.

The Empire State Building holds on to the top spot this year, followed by the White House, the Washington National Cathedral, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Austin made the AIA’s list twice with the Texas State Capitol (#92, the highest ranking building in Texas) and UT’s Battle Hall (#150), both of which are endearing standouts in their respective classes. Unfortunately, Austin also made James Howard Kunstler’s "Eyesore of the Month" back in February with the Capitol Complex Child Care Center (pictured above).

"Believe it or not, this dreary death box is a child care center, located in the ostensibly thriving Uptown 'arts district' of Austin, Texas - just between downtown and the state capitol complex," Kunstler writes. "Someone call Joel Schumacher in Hollywood and tell him we've found the perfect location for the new musical version of Silence of the Lambs."

Although the center in question is unmistakably hideous, I don’t even think it’s the ugliest state building in Austin.

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