Washington and State

Built in 2004. Is this the worst building in Ann Arbor?


For more of my Ann Arbor architecture photos go here.

roamin faved this
  • Laura Fisher 10y

    I'd say it's a tie between that and the new Y building. What is it with the boring, unadorned brick, people?!
  • evan p. cordes 10y

    long live olga's.
  • Kim & Jeffrey Taras 10y

    at least they did a nice job expressing the expansion joints
  • Louis Rosenfeld 10y

    Ugliest A2 building of the '00s. The Colosseum takes the cake for the '90s.
  • Jim Rees 9y

    Not the prettiest, but not the ugliest. At least it's got a front door and windows. What about One North Main? Liberty Plaza? Tally Hall? Sloane Plaza? City Hall? Then there's this monstrosity.
  • meanmustard1982 9y

    Ah. I think the federal building is the ugliest.
  • pbeal 8y

    I've always liked the Colosseum (07-29-07 No, wrong name, it's the "Collonade"), reminds me of a bullring I used to pass...it was near a fairgrounds and the only place my father could buy saphire stereo needles.
  • Chris 7y

    This building is built on the cheap. That is a far worse sin than boring. Cheap-looking windows, cheap-looking air intakes. The cheapest of everything.
  • Wystan 6y

    Before there was Olga's, there was Gino's, which in 1971 became the first tenant of a new junk building, which was composed of bricks recycled from a stately 19th century house on the site, that had housed offices of the Michigan Municipal League for donkeys years. Here is a photo of Gino's, newly-built, and as yet unoccupied (note all the packing cases visible inside):
  • John Baird 6y

    @Wystan That's an amazing set of photos, any idea who the sign obsessed person that took the pictures is? They're so utilitarian, some kind of signage enforcement for the city maybe...
  • Jim Rees 6y

    Wasn't I just reading that CVS wants to tear down the old Herb David building (immediately south of this)?
  • Wystan 6y

    John, you are absolutely right about the signage photostream on the Ann Arbor District Library website. A few years ago, someone in the building inspection department at city hall was cleaning out a drawer, and was about to pitch hundreds of these old photos, when he/she had second thoughts -- and the Library eagerly snapped them up.

    Jim, here is the Ann Arbor sign inspector's record of what 209 South State looked like in 1971:
  • Andypiper 4y

    I have never been inside these apartments, anyone know what they are like? I am surprised they allowed the builder to use panel brick though. Cheap. Small windows too.
  • Jim Rees 4y

    The building at Main and William, which replaced a club house of some kind (American Legion? I'm sure Wystan knows), was built with panel brick. Either inferior materials or inferior workmanship resulted in the metal straps rusting and the panels all had to be replaced.
  • Wystan 4y

    Jim, you are referring to the colossus at the NW corner? That was formerly the site of the c. 1840 home of Ann Arbor pioneer William S. Maynard (namesake of Maynard Street), which became the Arlington Hotel, which became the Elks' clubhouse (a men's drinking society). The Elks put a big addition on south end the old house, then decades later added onto the front, pretty well masking the historic structure. After the BPOE left, Ann Arbor Civic Theater moved in for a few years. AACT even staged a few little plays in a big room on the second floor, including a courtroom drama by Ayn Rand. But they couldn't afford to keep the building.

    The front yard of the Arlington Hotel:
    "Packard-Huron" street car on South Main, Ann Arbor, sometime before March, 1907. by Wystan
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Taken on August 9, 2004
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