Saturday, May 2, 2009

The New Arena Stage?

Sara Fritz, On the Waterfront

Even without the new Arena Stage complex, southwest D.C., is architecturally challenged.

Tiber Island and Carrollsburg Square are the best examples of one of the worst architecture movements in the 20th Century: Brutalism. It must have been part of a Communist plot to make cities in the West look more like the Soviet bloc. The J.Edgar Hoover Building, the ugliest building in Washington, is also an example of Brutalist architecture. No wonder Hoover was anti-Communist.

But I digress. The subject is the architecture in Southwest. Even the two apartment buildings on M Street that were designed by I.M. Pei -- which are currently being renovated, by the way -- are so unremarkable that visitors refuse to believe they were the work of a famous architect.

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