Bad Elster, Saxony, Germany in April 2008. Wettiner Hof Hotel is awaiting renovation- locally it is known as the Schandfleck- (the Eyesore).

An eyesore is a something that is largely considered to look unpleasant or ugly. Its technical usage is as an alternative perspective to the notion of landmark. Common examples include dilapidated buildings, graffiti, litter, polluted areas, and excessive commercial signage such as billboards. Some eyesores may be a matter of opinion such as controversial modern architecture (see also spite house), transmission towers or wind turbines.[1][2] Natural eyesores include feces, mud and weeds.[3]


  • Effect on property values 1
  • Remediation 2
  • Controversy 3
    • Examples of divided opinion 3.1
    • Structures widely regarded as eyesores 3.2
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Effect on property values

In the USA, the National Association of Realtors says an eyesore can shave about 10% off the value of a nearby listing.[4]


Clean-up programmes to improve or remove eyesores are often started by local bodies or even national governments. These are frequently called Operation Eyesore.[5] High-profile international events such as the Olympic Games usually trigger such activity.[6]

Others contend that it is best to nip such problems in the bud by addressing them while they are small, since signs of neglect encourage anti-social behaviour such as vandalism and fly-tipping. This strategy is known as fixing broken windows.


Whether some constructions are eyesores is a matter of opinion which may change over time. Landmarks are often called eyesores.

Examples of divided opinion

Federation Square has divided opinion in Melbourne.[7]
  • Eiffel Tower – Parisians wanted it torn down as an eyesore but it is now the world's top landmark.[8]
  • Golden Gate Bridge was controversial ahead of its construction, it being said in The Wasp that it "would prove an eye-sore to those now living ... certainly mar if not utterly destroy the natural charm of the harbor famed throughout the world."[9][10] It is now considered a notable landmark.[11]
  • Millennium Dome – the ugliest building in the world in a poll by the business magazine Forbes of "15 architects, all of whom were American apart from one who was British and one who was Canadian".[12]
  • Federation Square – despite being hailed a landmark by many, it has equally been rejected by many notable Australians as an eyesore.[7]
  • Wind farms – thought to be the worst eyesore by readers of Country Life but liked by others.[13]
  • Boston's Government Center,[14] where City Hall has been called "The World's Ugliest Building".[15]
  • One Rincon Hill – Situated just south of San Francisco's Financial District, this high-rise condominium surrounded by shorter buildings has generated some mixed reviews.
  • Lloyd's building – Situated in the City of London, this building was described as an oil refinery when it was opened in 1986[16] for having most of its facilities, stairways and AC on the outside. Some people still say this, although the building has become more popular and liked in the recent years.[17]
  • Tour Montparnasse - lone skyscraper in the Montparnasse area of Paris, France. Its appearance mars the Paris urban landscape, and construction of skyscrapers have been banned in the city two years after its completion. A 2008 poll of editors on Virtualtourist voted the building the second ugliest building in the world. It is sometimes said that the view from the top is the most beautiful in Paris, because it is the only place from which the tower itself cannot be seen.
  • Brisbane Transit Centre and Riverside Expressway – have been called eyesores and planning debacles by University of Queensland Associate Professor of Architecture Peter Skinner.[18]
  • Tricorn Centre. Built in 1964, it was initially highly respected.[19]

Structures widely regarded as eyesores

Spencer Street Power Station. Regarded for many years as Melbourne's worst eyesore, it was demolished in 2008.[20]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ home.introweb
  26. ^ http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=740&artikel=2435435
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ http://www.businessinsider.com/why-half-of-brooklyn-hates-the-new-barclays-center-stadium-2012-8
  30. ^ http://www.clickorlando.com/news/still-no-completion-date-for-i4-eyesore/22839816

External links

  • The dictionary definition of eyesore at Wiktionary