Dept. of Corrections?

Target, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

A reader wrote me to express his displeasure with the looks of the new Target going in at Columbia Heights. He writes:

“The new Target to be completed in Columbia Heights looks like a jail, an imposing brick wart, probably designed for another site to be shoe-horned and plopped into that space. Chosen without regards to the community or surrounding architecture, It

20 Comment

  • It’s not that bad. Typical shopping center architecture. And the many street level entrances (as far as I know there will be many to the small retail spaces) should help a lot, and make it feel less of an imposing mall.

    And I seriously doubt that it was designed for another location.. sure, the same guy may have designed similar looking this for other locations before.

  • I don’t think it’s all that bad, considering what it is. It’s not fantastic architecture, but in its favor:
    1. There’s no surface parking like big-box stores in the ‘burbs
    2. There is some decorative brickwork, stripes of different colors, not just one unrelieved color
    3. There are many windows that aren’t really needed
    4. That round domey thing will provide some visual interest on the huge 14th street facade
    5. on Irving Street, it will incorporate that little bit of historic facade left over from the old site

  • ugly as hell is my vote.

  • The roofline is unforgivable. If you look at a row of houses or any city block in DC, you’ll notice that variation in roofline draws the eye along. For that matter, you can cover the bottom half of a line of type and still read 90% of what’s written, because the human eye scans the tops of things. Greek temples are often fitted with accreteria, little accents along the corners to make a compelling statement. The Target’s roofline undoes its entire appeal and ruins its integration into the city. (It won’t stop me from buying crap there, though.)

  • tragically ugly.

  • second sean’s ugly as hell vote. and second the good doctor in that i’ll still buy crap there (better than buying crap in alexandria or pg county).

  • considering how much time, money, and effort went into this, the building could have been A LOT nicer….

  • Uhh, it’s a Target… what’d anyone expect?

    If someone from any suburb in America were to read this blog, or the other 1000 place people blab on about the CH Target, they’d be completely mystified at the anticipation.

    “Honey, if’n they ever open up a Wal-Mart inside DC it sounds as if there will be a riot!”

  • It’s Target, not the Ritz Carlton.

  • its a friggin target, not the sistene chapel! and folks wonder why the gentry is lampooned and/or despised!

  • it’s butt ugly.

  • It’s horrible. It doesn’t take streetscape into account at all, and makes that chunk of 14th St look like, well, like it’s got a jail plopped down in the middle of it.

  • I don’t think it’s bad at all. Walking by this weekend, I actually liked all of the windows they added into the design. Most malls are concrete top to bottom without any natural light. It looks like the major stores will also be accessible from the street and that will give it a non-mall flair. The dome will add visual interest later on too.

  • actually, come to think of it, the complex matches the brutal soviet-style building across the street, just south of the Metro on the west side of 14th.

  • I was in Ireland this weekend… in a mall buying necessities due to lost luggage. A nice thing would be if the mall (DCUSA) provided shortcuts and people could walk in one entrance and out another to get to a destination.

  • Targets actually building some pretty fantastic stores out West. They still are boring big boxes inside, though. But remember — this isn’t target’s development: its the BLANK USA development. It looks pretty identical to the Harlem USA development by the same team. My main concern is the wall effect it has. It just seems a little big for the spot. It’s not bad, but it looks like you are looking at the back of the building — compare it to the “malls” built in Friendship Heights and Chevy Chase, which are much more friendly to the streetscape. And offer variety of surfaces and roofs. Even the newer more modern buildings are aesthetically more interesting. It looks cheap, like CH got second shrift. I have to blame the ANC on this one. They are the ones that let it go through as it is. Plus with all that parking in it (which should NOT be there) 14th and Park Rd is going to be a nightmare.

  • Too late now, we’re stuck with it.

  • Hopefully the signage added to the front facade is 1) not horribly ugly 2) something that helps to break up the somewhat monolithic look of facade.

  • i’ll qoute another commenter and add “tragically ugly” to the mix. the ‘back,’ or western side is even uglier. its aluminum siding. gray, boring, cheap, aluminum siding. the only interesting aspects are “the round domey thing” as mr t in dc put it (although there will be no real dome) and the facade that was left from the old columbia heights post office on the irving street side.

    doesn’t it remind you of the verizon center a little bit?

    in the end, you’re right. its a mall. but it should at least be an easy on the eyes mall. its not.

  • Im just grateful that Target will be in the city and my tax money doesn’t have to be spent elsewhere.

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