These Are the 10 Ugliest Buildings In the U.S., According to Data
A survey found that these architectural eyesores are the most likely to ruin a skyline photo.
The great architectural marvels of the world can become iconic far beyond the cities where they're found. But for every Art Deco or neoclassical masterpiece, there are other structures that haven't been as well received their designers had surely hoped. These are the constructions that local residents and visitors alike will often say stand out for all the wrong reasons. And now, new data has helped compile a list of the 10 ugliest buildings in the U.S.
The rankings were determined by construction supply company Buildworld, which compiled an initial list of buildings previously called out for their appearance by design firms and Architectural Digest. The company then ran a Twitter search to find the public's opinions on each building's design and filtered them to ensure they were limited to discussing their look. The group then used an AI algorithm to determine which were negative, ranking the structures based on how many negative tweets each received.
Considering that each entry is still a feat of engineering, it's also not a mean-spirited ranking. "The architects behind the world's biggest and boldest buildings usually have a point to make," Buildworld writes in their results. "Whatever the point, the worst thing that can happen is to be ignored. For many architects and developers, to be boring is a greater sin than to be ugly."
So which constructions are ruining skylines from coast to coast? These are the ugliest building in the U.S., according to data compiled by Buildworld.
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Florida State Capitol (Tallahassee, Florida)
Percentage of tweets criticizing the buildings' design: 12.14
One might expect the seat of government for the third most populous state in the U.S. to be a grand, impressive structure. But according to the public, the strange hybrid of historic and modern architecture that makes up the Florida State Capitol building leaves plenty to be desired.
"Criticism of the Florida State Capitol focuses on its large scale and blandness, particularly since it dwarfs the petite, classical old capitol in its shadow," Buildworld writes in its survey results.
Alamodome (San Antionio, Texas)
Percentage of tweets criticizing the buildings' design: 13.23
While a cherished local landmark may have inspired its name, the Alamodome in San Antonio is viewed much more critically by the public. The stadium opened in 1993 and hosted the San Antonio Spurs NBA team for nearly a decade before the franchise requested a new facility, The San Antonio Express-News reports. It now hosts local college baseball and concerts.
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Thompson Center (Chicago, Illinois)
Percentage of tweets criticizing the buildings' design: 13.91
Chicago is arguably considered one of the top destinations for world-class architecture anywhere in the U.S. But among its many marvels, the James R. Thompson Center sticks out to locals as an unsightly mess. Local politicians even considered demolishing the former civic building before Google purchased it in July 2022 with plans to use it as its second headquarters in the city, Curbed reported.
U.S. Bank Stadium (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Percentage of tweets criticizing the buildings' design: 15.47
U.S. Bank Stadium is a significant point of pride for football fans in Minneapolis as the home of the local Minnesota Vikings NFL team. But the recent construction is also considered by many to be an egregious eyesore, using a combination of sharp angles and reflective glass to create its unique appearance. And besides ranking as one of the worst nationally, the stadium also made Buildworld's global list as the 12th ugliest building anywhere in the world.
"Every time I drive by @usbankstadium, I die a little inside, it's so ugly and ruins the skyline," one resident posted in a tweet.
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Trump Hotel (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Percentage of tweets criticizing the buildings' design: 17.39
Las Vegas is a city known for its excess in everything, including buildings and architecture. But amidst all the impressive structures that host Sin City's hotels and casinos, the Trump Hotel stands out as one of the ugliest according to the public.
Denver International Airport
Percentage of tweets criticizing the buildings' design: 18.31
As the gateway to any destination, airports usually give extra importance to the design process to ensure they stand out architecturally and are easy to navigate. Unfortunately, Denver International Airport appears to have missed the mark with its tented take on a travel hub. While it may be a seemingly odd design choice, the original architecture firm said it hoped its points would reflect the snow-capped peaks of nearby mountains, according to local FOX affiliate KDVR.
"We turned the building upside down, relocating the building's mechanical infrastructure from the roof to underground," Fentress Architects said of the building, per KDVR. "This allowed our vision for the enormous, typically inhumane scale of the main terminal to be transformed into an open, light-filled volume."
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Watergate Complex (Washington, D.C.)
Percentage of tweets criticizing the buildings' design: 18.69
The Watergate Complex has become infamous as the site of one of the greatest scandals ever to rock American politics. Unfortunately, it's also well-known as an eyesore in a city filled with some of the nation's most respected buildings and monuments.
Verizon Building (New York, New York)
Percentage of tweets criticizing the buildings' design: 19.93
Lower Manhattan is a dense sea of skyscrapers that make up some of the best-known tall buildings anywhere in the nation. But the Verizon Building holds an unenviable place in many New Yorkers' minds as an unsightly concrete slab that ruins an otherwise perfect skyline.
"Not to be confused with the Verizon Building on West Street, the Verizon on Pearl Street has long been a 'doer-upper' without ever becoming an acceptable sight for New York's eyes," Buildworld writes in its survey results. "When an investment firm bought the much-maligned 1975 telephone exchange in 2007, a reporter told the CEO: 'Mr. Pariser, you have a challenge cut out for you—turning a GE dishwasher into an office building.' The firm failed to meet the challenge and re-sold it for a fraction of its intended price."
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Boston City Hall (Boston, Massachusetts)
Percentage of tweets criticizing the buildings' design: 25.03
Boston is a city that is beloved for its historic architecture, cobblestone streets, and quaint homes. So it's ironic that the city's main government building is widely considered one of the worst-looking structures anywhere in the U.S., according to Buildworld's poll.
"The gray cement facade always looks dirty, as if it has absorbed years of pollution without relief. The design pattern is far too busy and looks chaotic. Too many very deep shadows," one resident told Boston.com, which conducted its own survey about how unsightly the municipal center is. "Hard to even find the entrance because unlike most buildings that simply is not the focal point. You can walk around the massive structure and not even see an entrance."
J. Edgar Hoover Building (Washington, D.C.)
Percentage of tweets criticizing the buildings' design: 37.84
Compared to the grand civic buildings and impressive monuments that dominate the nation's capital, the J. Edgar Hoover Building stands out as a painfully understated concrete slab in the District. However, there are still some unseen bright spots about it that residents may not know.
"Yes, it's not pretty—but there's a certain Minecraft-y charm about the blocky brutalist monolith," Buildworld writes. "The FBI HQ was fashionable, practical, and even a little utopian when it was designed in the 1960s (an open courtyard for agents to eat lunch, files safely archived deep in the core of the building)."