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There Goes the Neighborhood: Ten Buildings People Love to Hate

by Susan Goldman Rubin

Published by Holiday House, 2001
96 pages
ISBN: 0-8234-1435-3

Ages 9 - 14

Throughout history, great architectural feats such as the Eiffel Tower and the Guggenheim Museum were met with a loud hue and cry from neighbors and the public in general. Each of the ten buildings about which Rubin writes inspired a flurry of negative comments before, during, and after construction. The Washington Monument, for example, was compared to a stalk of asparagus, and Mark Twain called it "the memorial chimney." The derisive nickname people used for the Fuller Building in New York City in 1902 has today become the name by which people know it: the Flatiron Building. And one neighbor hated Frank O' Gehry's Santa Monica home so much that he fired a shot through his living room window. As we read the history of each building, we find that some were creatively designed to solve real problems: the Walker Community Library in Minneapolis was built underground to save both space and energy, for example, and the golden arches were placed on top of the original McDonald's restaurants to attract attention, as well as to express a futuristic look in the 1950s. Others, such as Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, seem to have been merely an exercise in power and ego. No matter how much public outcry there has been, all of the buildings included here have attracted hordes of visitors through the years. Perhaps the most amusing of these was author Guy de Maupassant who dined regularly in a restaurant inside the Eiffel Tower because it was the only place in Paris that didn't offer a view of it. CCBC categories: Historical People, Places, and Events; Contemporary People, Places, and Events.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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