One of the biggest selling points of Redevelopment is that it’s supposed to make things look better. Especially buildings. As its legal justification, Redevelopment is supposed to eradicate blight. In Fullerton most of what Redevelopment coughs up seems to look more and more like blight every time we look at it.
Our pages have been strewn with examples of cheap, crappy, banal, and cheesy buildings underwritten by Redevelopment, whose design has been guided by the shaky hand of Redevelopment bureaucrats who have micro-managed downtown Fullerton into an open air museum of aesthetic horrors.
But today, let’s focus on one our biggest pet peeves: Redevelopment’s penchant for brick veneer – one of an angry God’s most certain punishments visited upon humankind.
The “Trider Building” on the SW corner of Pomona and Commonwealth showcases the cheapest of all the brick veneers – what the professional masons call “lick and stick.” This crap was applied to a black mastic background and began to pop off almost immediately. Recently somebody was employed to fill in the joints with mortar, presumably to arrest the pop-off effect, but they only got a few feet off the ground before they stopped. The result looks even worse than ever except that at least now there is an undeniable comic effect not calculated in the original design.
Here’s an example where a grouted veneer runs headlong into what appears to be another lick-and-stick. Neither one looks good. Juxtaposed the effect of cheapness is intensified.
For years the Redevelopment and Development Services Departments not only tolerated, but actually foisted brick veneer on the rest of us – presumably because old buildings are made of brick and brick veneer is made of brick, and Fullerton is all about preserving old things. The whole idea of regurgitating old building themes in fake materials was, and still is, the order of the day. And so the idea of original and creative design has been intentionally jettisoned for the architectural garbage that litters downtown Fullerton.
Coming up soon: The Horrors of Styrofoam.