Courtesy of the Chicago Public Library

Harold Washington Library, Chicago

4 of 15

If buildings came with footnotes, this one, named for a beloved former mayor who deserved
better, would have pages worth of citations. Neoclassical references collide with a glass-and-steel
Mannerist roof; throw in some red brick, granite, and aluminum—and a bad sense of
scale—and you’ve got way too much architecture class for one day.

The Ugly Truth: Opened in 1991 and designed by the firm Hammond, Beeby, and
Babka, the Chicago public library has a helter-skelter application of motifs and styles
that’s “locked in the postmodern era,” says Peter Koliopoulos of Circle West
Architects in Scottsdale,
AZ
.

The World's Ugliest Buildings

Harold Washington Library, Chicago

If buildings came with footnotes, this one, named for a beloved former mayor who deserved
better, would have pages worth of citations. Neoclassical references collide with a glass-and-steel
Mannerist roof; throw in some red brick, granite, and aluminum—and a bad sense of
scale—and you’ve got way too much architecture class for one day.

The Ugly Truth: Opened in 1991 and designed by the firm Hammond, Beeby, and
Babka, the Chicago public library has a helter-skelter application of motifs and styles
that’s “locked in the postmodern era,” says Peter Koliopoulos of Circle West
Architects in Scottsdale,
AZ
.

Courtesy of the Chicago Public Library

The World's Ugliest Buildings

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