Oh No, Brick Veneer Again!
UPDATE: THE CITY COUNCIL IS SCHEDULED TO TAKE UP THE MATTER OF THE PARKING STRUCTURE AND ITS DESIGN AT TODAY’S MEETING. SINCE WE REPORTED ON THIS ISSUE CITY STAFF HAS REFUSED TO CHANGE ITS LUDICROUS POSTION THAT THE FAKE BRICK SOMEHOW SATISFIES SOME SORT OF CEQA REQUIREMENT – EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE COMPLETELY DEMOLISHED THE MYTH OF BRICK AND REALITY OF BRICK VENEER IN DOWNTOWN FULLERTON.
SUCH A LAME APPROACH INSULTS NOT ONLY OUR AESTHETIC SENSIBILITIES, BUT IT ALSO TURNS THE WHOLE ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW PROCESS INTO A CHARADE THAT JUST SECURES FOR STAFF WHAT THEY WANT: BRICK VENEER.
CONSIDER THIS: THE MONEY SAVED BY ELIMINATING THE USELESS BRICK COULD GO TO ESTABLISHING SOLAR PANELS ON THE BUILDING AND ENHANCING ITS SUSTAINABILITY QUOTIENT.
They just can’t seem to help themselves. Not long ago the City held a “stake holder” gathering that was supposed to display three alternative plans for the proposed new parking structure on Santa Fe Avenue. No sooner had the meeting begun than it became apparent it was going to be one of those typical “here’s what we’re doing so sit down and shut up” meetings.
The image above shows what the City wants the building to look like. The architectural elements look okay except for the hideous brick veneer – that tomato soup colored stuff you see on the building. Brick veneer. The lazy Redevelopment bureaucrat’s material of choice. We recently wrote about it in a pithy post here.
Why would anybody put a brick veneer on a concrete parking structure? Who would put lipstick on a pig? Brick panels spanning impossibly long spaces look simply idiotic – even to the layman who could sense intuitively that brick has little tensile strength; but unfortunately this type of masquerade is par for Fullerton’s aesthetic course – displaying once again the curious parochialism of Fullerton’s taste makers.
But brick veneer is not only stupid architecturally, but is a big waste of money, to boot. And it contradicts the General Plan Advisory Committee’s adopted “sustainability” policy in the General Plan Update, since it serves no function and will have to be replaced when it falls off.
Fortunately it’s not too late to make the right choice here. But we’re not holding our breath.
16 Replies to “Oh No, Brick Veneer Again!”
Is that structure concrete or steel? Either way the veneer is a loser. I’m sure somebody thought it would “soften” the structure or pay hommage to all the old sandblasted brick buildings around, or some other such nonsesnse – but they were wrong.
I believe the structure is concrete – cast and precast. The architectural elementsand tower appear to be all structural steel. Both cocnrete and steel are clad in brick veneer.
Still, to be fair, it could be worse. To see just how bad Orange County taste can get, go look a Buena Park’s station. I dare you.
I like Buena Park’s Metrolink station. It reminds me of Victorian design with all of it’s gingerbread and historic detailing. This building looks a bit too modern for me. The brick is really the only GOOD thing about it.
But if that’s what the City wants then I’m sure they must have thought long and hard about it and that RDRC must have okayed it, too.
the BP metrolink reminds me of the twilight zone rod serling episode called willoughby(those in their fifties and older will remember) where the 1960’s miserable man commutes into his hated job wishing he could go back in time to the good old days. totally willoughby at good ole BP station. Current fullerton architecture screams what did you do to me? fullerton’s civic leaders need to stand aside and let someone with genius find fullerton’s architectural face. Our town’s face should reflect its agricultural roots, its bustling suburbs after WWII, its enormous commuter college and raspy raw downtown night life. If someone coild harmonize these elements then we can say good bye to sad old brick veneer
This story sucks when compared to the “old men with young girls” post.
Not the killer Vaneeeeeeeeeers!
Star Chamber, I’m on to your game. Very Phil Hendrie of you.
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ok, fullerton needs to ditch the IKEA look. Modern is not less is more instead its steel, brick, glass doo dads
If the “modern elements” serve no purpose then they are hardly better then the brick veneer. The key on this project is to let a parking structure be a parking structure. The elevator and stair towers will be partially enclosed; some shading may be required. That’s it. A car park. Non-useful additions will be spotted immediately. Less is more (although I can’t claim credit for that saying – it was made by Mies van der Rohe).
If you want to see pure foolish waste look at the parking structure across from the Plummer – half a million dollars (1990 $) for all that stupid tube steel crap all over it. And it looked dated before it was even finished.
That was funded by Fullerton Redevelopment. How about a post on that eyesore, admin?
Anyone walking through the building on the corner of Chapman and Harbor will see where the fake bricks have fallen off.
All I can think is that our taste arbiters have never traveled to any other city either in Southern California, the US or other countries to see what options may be had with sustainable architecture and design.
It would be smart for the proponents of sustainable architecture and design to start emailing in good examples of large scale projects to either admin or Travis so they can start being posted on this blog.
Knowing that the Chamber Star likes the Buena Pary Station is testimony to the Stars’ pedestrian view of the world. Obviously a person that can be fooled by artificial materials and people. No sensitivity for anything real. Should anyone want a glimpse into the mind and soul of the Star, visit the Buena Park station. Such a person must never be in a position to make decisions regarding public affairs in Fullerton.
There is a much better way to build a parking garage using robotics that will enable you to cut the size of the building in half. I would think several smaller parking garages spread around downtown is better then a huge concrete gas burning structure. I called the project manager to talk to them however I did not receive a return call. They must be very busy.
Joe, I did a little research and I found this you-tube clip:
Start at the bottom of page 5 to see who wanted brick veneer.
Thanks for that tidbit. Is there anybody on that committee who isn’t a brass-plated nincompoop?
• The east and west sides have sculptural, brick elements in order to relate to Harbor
Here is the “project architect” making himself look faintly ridiculous. The old “relate” to argument, bane of good architecture everywhere and the favorite of the booboisie bureaucrat.
I also made the mistake of reading the other items on this agenda. FLW is right. These guys are ninnies. Who appointed that “Cha” dude? Or “Daybell.” These people are hopeless.