The View From 32


JULY 17, 2007  

Brutal to bland?

I went to Cleveland State today to drop off my d.a. levy poster at the library, and noticed lots of demolition and construction taking place.

As you can see in this photo, they're doing major renovation of the Brutalist-style Main Classroom building, tearing out big sections of exterior walls.

It's hard to find anything to like about the concrete bunker architecture, aptly called a "celebration of concrete." You'd think that almost anything would be an improvement, and I hope that turns out to be true.

But grafting on an angular metal-trimmed section (below) that looks like it belongs in an office park at I-480 and Rockside Road isn't a huge step in the right direction. It's changing one soulless style for another.

I give the administration at CSU credit for trying to make the best of a bad situation, but I sure wish they were replacing the old with something with more humanity, energy and style.

The good news is that CSU's landscaping and grounds people still are bringing life and color to the campus with big flower beds and planters.

Considering that they're starting with a crowded mishmash of buildings along a major city street, they do a great job of bringing a feeling of joy and nature into the environment.


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