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  • Writer's pictureKattan

From Eyesores to Masterpieces

Time has a profound effect on architecture. Over the course of years, decades, and even centuries, buildings and structures can be transformed from functional spaces into precious works of art. This can happen through natural wear and tear, as well as through the intentional efforts of preservationists and restoration experts. The patina of age can give a building a sense of history and character, making it a treasured part of a community's cultural heritage. Additionally, the passage of time can also reveal the lasting impact of a building on its surroundings, highlighting its importance in shaping the built environment. In this way, time can turn anything into something precious in the field of architecture.

Disclaimer: the following article does not necessarily reflect the personal opinion of the author, nor present any facts or historical significance. Moreover, it is not intended to criticize the works of anyone. It was written with the aid of an AI engine, directed by the author to draw the desired conclusions, with the objective of serving an idea and build the grounds of an open discussion.

Cover image by Andrey Grushnikov.

Buildings that are currently neglected and considered eyesores have the potential to become architectural treasures in the future

The High Line in New York City was built in the 1930s as an elevated freight railway. It was once considered an eyesore and has since become a highly valued architectural treasure in New York City. It is a 1.45-mile-long elevated park built on a disused railroad track in Manhattan. When the railroad was in operation, the area surrounding the track was heavily industrialized and the track itself was considered unpleasant.

However, after the railroad was abandoned in the 1980s, the community began to envision a new use for the space. In 1999, a non-profit group was formed with the goal of transforming the High Line into a public park. The group worked with architects and urban planners to design the park and secure funding for its construction. The first section of the High Line opened to the public in 2009 and it has since become a highly popular and valued public space, attracting millions of visitors each year. Largely due to its historical significance. It has also had a significant impact on the surrounding area, with a lot of new developments and businesses springing up along its length.

From eyesore to a masterpiece of modern architecture


The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and completed in 1969, it was one of the first skyscraper buildings using a tube structural system and it was the 3rd tallest building in the world. When it was first built, the John Hancock Center faced criticism for its sleek modern design and its large scale. But over time, the building has become appreciated for its architectural significance and its unique design, it was considered one of the best examples of modern architecture and engineering. The building has been a Chicago landmark for decades and it has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and advertisements. Today, the John Hancock Center is considered a masterpiece of modern architecture and a celebrated part of the city's skyline.


The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England was designed by the renowned architect Norman Foster and completed in 1978. It was the first high-tech art gallery in the UK. However, when it first opened, it received mixed reviews, with some people criticizing its bold design and non-human scale. But over time, the building has become appreciated for its architectural significance and innovative use of space. It is now considered a masterpiece of late 20th century architecture and a major cultural landmark in the region. It has won numerous awards and is widely admired for its harmonious blend of art, architecture, and landscape design. It is open to the public and it is a place for people to visit and appreciate the art and architecture.

Time has the power to change our perception of architecture and it can turn anything, literally anything, into something really precious

It is important to remember that architecture is a reflection of the time and culture in which it was created. What may be considered an eyesore in the present, may one day be appreciated as a historical treasure. The High Line, Royal Saltworks, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the John Hancock Center are just a few examples of buildings that were once criticized for their design but have since become valued architectural treasures. It is important to approach architecture with an open mind. But unfortunately, an ugly building is an ugly building. However, time has the power to change our perception of architecture and it can turn anything into something precious. As we move forward, it is important to approach new architecture with a sense of curiosity and a willingness to see the potential for beauty and value in the future.

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