From Good to Bad to Contrived

When I first photographed this small commercial building I was smitten with its Brutalist / Modernist vibe – not something one expects to find in an obscure corner of “flyover country”.   I loved the concrete, oddball windows and corner emphasis.  I knew it was much too interesting to survive unmolested, so I took this photo to document it.  The second photo is maybe five to eight years later, while the third photo is a Google Street View image from 2013:

 

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Just old enough to be interesting. When I first photographed this little gem, I did so thinking that it was just a matter of time before someone had to try and “normalize” it… it was just too unique to survive in a culture which worships mediocrity. I knew it would change, but I didn’t expect to see it in Safety Yellow a few years later:

 

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Ouch!!! Brutalism does not look good in yellow. Oh, well, paint can always be stripped… at least nothing was physically altered.

 

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Egads! So much for architectural integrity! The brutalist character has been erased and replaced with a collection of contemporary design cliches that are not nearly as chic and stylish as the building was prior to the “updating”. Sadly, this is an increasingly common occurrence.

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