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The Most Vicious Criticisms Yet of the J. Edgar Hoover Building

[Photo by David Yamasaki]

Last week, the list of replacements for the new FBI Headquarters narrowed to three. It also renewed the critical vitriol against its current home, the J. Edgar Hoover Building. To be fair, the complaints about the brutalist building may have never gone away and even an impassioned defense of the building recently published in CityLab was titled "Requiem For a Nightmare". As such, we've compiled a greatest hits collection of those criticisms that both pooh-pooh its design and note its terrible upkeep. If we've missed a particularly glaring example of Hoover haterade, please put it in the comments or tip us.

"This building reflects the tendency within Brutalism to completely ignore the building's surroundings, and it's just plopped down as if it dropped in from outer space." —Catesby Leigh for NPR

"It creates a void along Pennsylvania Avenue. Given its elephantine size and harshness, it creates a black hole. Its concrete wall, with no windows or life to it, is an urban sin. People should be strolling down America's main street. Nobody strolls in front of the FBI Building." —Arthur Cotton Moore for Washingtonian

"Situated in the centre of the city, this dreary 1970s behemoth is almost unavoidable." —Reuters &

"...The FBI's hulking headquarters overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue has long been the government building everyone loves to hate. The verdict: It's an ugly, crumbling concrete behemoth, an architectural mishap – all 2.4 million square feet of it." —Huffington Post

"Sure, it's an eye sore, but at least it's a plainly designed eye sore." —DCist

"A Government Accountability Office report issued yesterday rounds up the studies and assessments done over the last decade, detailing all the reasons why the 2.4 million-square-foot FBI building is 'functionally obsolete.'" —Government Accountability Office via Washington City Paper

"There is no government building that more accurately reflects the soul of the bureaucracy housed inside." —Buzzfeed
· All J. Edgar Hoover Building Coverage [CDC]

J. Edgar Hoover Building — FBI

935 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20535