The World's Ugliest Buildings
The Portland Building, Portland, OR
Let’s break out the government-building checklist. Small, boring windows? Check. Humdrum
off-white masonry? Yes. Terracotta pilasters and shiny blue glass? That, too. The first three
levels of the squat, 15-story municipal-services structure are covered in dark green tiles, adding
to the bewildering gaudy-meets-tedious tone.
The Ugly Truth: Michael Graves won a competition to design the building in 1982.
Postmodernism was all the rage in the ’80s, which explains the randomly-stuck-on historical
motifs. “Many buildings from that decade look fake,” says architect Stephen R. Connors,
who has his own firm in Warwick, NY.