6. “Relentlessly Ugly”

Although many New York buildings and development projects have been the object of scorn from critics, the press, and the public, few have been as widely and vociferously vilified as Co-op City.

Time magazine, in a 1969 article, memorably declared that Co-op City “is relentlessly ugly: its buildings are overbearing bullies of concrete and brick.” A year later, Ulrich Franzen, a Brutalist architect one might expect to come to the project’s defense, lambasted “Co-op City’s coarsely scaled and lifeless community.”

More bluntly, former NYC Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff reveals in his new book that the first time he saw Co-op City at age 10 from the backseat of his parents’ car he thought the development “looked monstrous.”