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Madison doesn't want Soviet-era architecture -- Dave and Leigh Mollenhoff

Madison doesn't want Soviet-era architecture -- Dave and Leigh Mollenhoff

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State Journal reporter Dean Mosiman’s front-page article Oct. 6 titled "12-story Downtown housing project proposed" features still another building that continues what he calls “an unrelenting trend” in Madison -- that is, still another high rise student apartment building, this one located on the corner of North Bassett and West Johnson, proposed by Subtext Development from St. Louis.

This building is a disturbing example of a second type of unrelenting trend: ugly buildings. The rendering looks like the building was designed by the developer’s cost accountant to maximize profit and the number of closet-sized bedrooms. The mass and exterior are devoid of anything that anyone would call interesting, much less beautiful.

Really, the rendering bore a disturbing resemblance to apartment buildings that Soviet architects built in Moscow’s suburbs during the 1930s. Someone tell Subtext that Putin recently ordered 8,000 of these high-rise barracks to be torn down.

Is this the type of architecture that we want for Madison for the next 50 to 100 years? We think not.

The Subtext for this development is substandard. Madison can and must do better.

Dave and Leigh Mollenhoff, Madison


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