Harold Washington Library: On the ugly list

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Blair Kamin of Chicago Tribune‘s CityScapes reported that Travel & Leisure has named our very own Harold Washington Library as one of the world’s ugliest buildings.

What do you think?

Does our library deserve to be on this list? Comments are open.


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  • No it doesn't. I've always thought it was a beautiful building. I love the owls.

  • Shawna, you have exquisite taste. The owls cap off a building that is quite lovely.

    I don't know if it fits into the neighborhood as well as other buildings do into theirs, but surely it's not one of the ugliest buildings around.

  • No. I think it's majestic. Has Blair Kamin ever seen the Billy Graham Museum in Wheaton, Illinois? That's a better candidate, if not for ugliest, then for silliest. It's got massive, ostentatious columns with itsy bitsy dormers on top. The proportions are ludicrous.

  • I've always liked it -- think it looks like something from a Batman or Gargoyles cartoon.

  • Did Travel & Leisure really, actually come to Chicago and look at the library? I just don't see how they could possible come to the conclusion that out of all the buildings in the world that this is one of the ugliest. Just what do they smoke at that mag? They are so wrong. They just don't make buildings like that anymore.

  • Yeah, I don't think they actually SAW the library. The interior is stunning + gorgeous. The outside is nice, not tear-inducing, but not *ugly.*

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