And now, loyal Friends of Fullerton’s Future, we return to a theme a bit neglected of late, namely: our built environment, with an emphasis on both aesthetic and policy issues. In the past we have spent some time highlighting some really good examples of appalling public architecture and design paid for by the taxpayers.
Now let us cast our attention to an example of bad design foisted on a private commercial development by Fullerton’s own tasteless planning bureaucrats. Most of us have come to associate strip center developments with crappy design. Some folks blame the lack of aesthetic achievement on the tacky taste of commercial center’s owners, and there is no doubt that this is often a fair assessment. But what is not commonly appreciated is the role of government planners in the strip center development.
A case study is unfolding on Rosecrans and Euclid where an existing commercial center is undergoing a “facelift” (as Barbara Giasone would call it). In the coming weeks we will pictorially document progress on this site, although “progress” seems like such an inappropriate word!
Oh no! God-awful, tacked-on rooflets of various shapes and sizes – nothing more than useless vertical appendages enclosing wasted space and consuming perfectly good construction materials. The only redeeming thing about this work is that in twenty year’s time it too, will be torn away and replaced with something else.
We can see from the framing just what is being added – nothing of use. We may recall Louis Sullivan’s old saying: form ever follows function. Well, here Friends, is form with no function. “Ah, but what about beauty” some uninitiated readers may be inclined to cry. To which we can only reply that too many people are satisfied that a remodel of some kind is a guarantee of aesthetic improvement. We will document the emerging hodgepodge of roof add-ons and see if our readers agree with us!
Finally, we must relate the saddest part of this story. For some reason the owner of this project was required to undergo bureaucratic design review that apparently consisted of a low level planner foisting his own aesthetic preferences of design propriety for this site onto the owner. We believe what is emerging on Rosecrans and Euclid shows all the design traits of bureaucratic interference. We are not sure why this review was even necessary in the first place; its effectiveness will soon be very evident, indeed!