D.C. home to ‘Ugliest Building in America’ as bi-partisan bill aims to diversify federal architecture

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 3:20 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - They say only an architect could love it.

The FBI building in Washington D.C., was just voted ugliest building in the United States from a survey by BuildWorld.

Constructed in 1975, the behemoth brutalist structure has been an eyesore on Pennsylvania Avenue for decades, taking up 2 million square feet. It’s also crumbling.

Now lawmakers are trying to change the rules around architecture for federal buildings.

“All buildings don’t need to look the same,” said Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) “They don’t have the same function, and they aren’t located in the same place.”

Titus is trying to pass a bill that would give more power to local architects and governments in designing their federal buildings.

“New Mexico compared to New England. Those are very different histories and styles and populations. So the building that is the federal building that represents government for the people should reflect what the people have experienced and would like to see,” said Titus.

The bill is in response to an executive order made by President Trump in 2020.

“The previous administration wanted to set the standard that they would all be neoclassical. Now I’m thinking we don’t want everything to look like Mar-A-Lago,” said Titus.

But what do the people want?

We asked some architecture experts their thoughts on the FBI building.

“It’s very weird coloring” said 9-year-old Asher.

“We need some blues or pinks, or reds or greens” chimed in 9-year-old Gus.

“If they put some Giant waterslides and some bungee jumping stuff I think that’d be fantastic” said Scott Massey of upstate New York.

The bill has bi-partisan and bi-cameral support, and are hoping to get it through this congress.