Once in a while, something just really irritates me. Here is a good example: Melvin Greenwald, a Baltimore developer, recently purchased a now-closed Morris Mechanic Theater, and would like to do everything in his power to modify it or tear it down. He says, “They call it Brutalist architecture, I call it a mistake. It’s ugly. I don’t know anyone that likes it. The building was obsolete when they built it.”
I cannot stand uneducated, ignorant pronouncements. More of my rant, and more pictures, after the break.
Most of downtown Baltimore is drab; the Mechanic Theater, designed by John Johansen, is one of the few exceptions. Even though the building has had some issues and is presently in a state of serious disrepair, it is one of the city’s few legitimately lively, successful buildings. In a recent victory for the intelligent and uneducated, the building was given landmark status — a step that could potentially Greenwald having his way with the building, though unless the city goes even further, it looks as though only the building’s exterior will be preserved — as a part of some awful shopping complex. Who OKs stuff like this?
Even in its disrepair, the Mechanic Theater is rather incredible: