You will not a find a position that's kind to this building...


And what's exactly wrong with Beacon Hill Branch Library? The exact same thing that's wrong with the City Hall. Both are cut from the same bad intention: phony multiculturalism. It's architecture trying to heal. Architecture as a hospital for social ills. Read Fredrick Jameson's The Political Unconscious; read his reading of Claude Levi-Strauss' memoir Tristes Tropiques. A chapter in this book describes a tribe, the Caduveo, in Brazil that wore elaborate facial paintings that weren't found, to the same excessive degree, in other neighboring tribes. The reason for the elaborate decorations, concludes Levi-Strauss, and Jameson, is because the Caduveo have, unlike the other tribes, great and unresolvable social inequalities that result from its rigid hierarchical class structure. So they resort to elaborate face painting to compensate for the lack of social mechanisms that could address class tensions. The Beacon Hill Library and the City Hall—which as designed by Peter Bohlin, the man who designed the region's Xanadu (Bill Gates's high-tech castle)—are the same as this face painting. And the ugliness of the intention is expressed by the ugliness and messiness of these buildings.

Support The Stranger