Learning to love examples of architectural Modernism and Brutalism, and lamenting a missed opportunity to emulate Kaliningrad.


All the way back in 2014, I had a stunning Brutalist vision for our municipal overlords.

From Königsberg to Kaliningrad, but not back again, though maybe …

The building to the rear, which never has been used, testifies to the vitality of one-party rule. Give Floyd County Democrats a chance to copy it, and it will be standing where the Reisz building is now.

Alas, they’re far more brutal as bribe-engorged political hacks than architectural thinkers. It must be something in the water(y beer). Just imagine if Kaliningrad’s unfinished House of the Soviets inspired Jeff Gahan’s House of the Anchors. 

Ah, but I digress and proffer an apology to Brutalists who are sure to express outrage at being compared with New Albany’s “Mayor for the Eternal TIF.”

21 ‘Ugly’ Buildings That Aren’t Ugly at All, by Eric Grundhauser

Atlas Obscura readers share their love for specific structures they feel have been unfairly maligned.

IT’S EASY TO PUT TOGETHER collections of beautiful, soaring buildings that perfectly encapsulate today’s hottest architectural trends. But who will speak for the edifices that have gone largely out of favor since they were first constructed? The imposing behemoths and the strangely angled stars of yesteryear’s design fads? Atlas Obscura readers, that’s who. We recently asked members of our community to tell us about the “ugly” buildings they love, and you weren’t shy in sharing your appreciation for your favorite misunderstood structures.

While the style certainly doesn’t have a monopoly on unconventionally attractive architecture, the majority of the responses we received pointed to brutalist institutional buildings—especially those featured on college campuses. But overall, what all of your nominees ultimately have in common is a way of inspiring devotion in spite of (or sometimes because of) the way they appear on the outside …

A sad story from Scotland:

Modernist ruin is an ‘albatross around our neck’ says church (BBC)

St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, near Dumbarton, was built in 1966 as a training college for priests.

It was once described as a “modernist masterpiece” but closed in the 1970s and lay empty until a plan emerged to turn it into a cultural centre.

However, that plan was shelved and the building is now set to remain a ruin.

Speaking personally, I’ve developed a liking for certain examples of Brutalism, some of which are just as deserving of preservation on grounds of “history” as the usual examples preferred locally. Personal evolution. Imagine THAT. 


Brutalism: If we’re intent on spending $10,000,000 … might as well make it interesting.

1987 European Summer: “Skopje, capital city of Macedonia, is a dream world for lovers of cosmic concrete communist-era architecture.”

But Black Sabbath: “Britain’s Second City Fights to Save Its Brutalist Architecture.”

More brutalism in sclerotic thinking than architecture, at least in Nawbony.