"The Ugliest Damn Building in New Jersey"

"...and maybe America," added Gov. Christie. The building in question is Xanadu, a brightly-colord mall that was scheduled to open in 2007 and with almost $2 billion spent ran into financing problems. New investment may turn the project around.

May 6, 2011, 12:00 PM PDT

By Tim Halbur

The mall has had a troubled history -- just last February heavy snow caused a section of the roof to collapse. But nothing has elicited more comments than the bright and blocky color scheme on the exterior. Architect David Jansen blames the developers for scaling back the original plans.

Mike Kelly reports:

"Jansen said the stripes-and-plaids design was not supposed to be the foreground. The colors were supposed to be a backdrop to a landscape of digital displays, cascading lights, pulsating helixes over entrances and extensive landscaping. When the budget cutters were through, all that was left was the ugly color scheme."

Triple Five, the Mall of America development company, has agreed to step in and try to fix the situation. A press release from the Governor's office talks about the redesign plans:

"Exterior views address the much maligned existing exterior. Triple Five understands the public's displeasure with the current exterior and is committed to improving the look so that it better fits in with the surrounding area, yet has a dynamic, exciting feel."

Monday, May 2, 2011 in The Record

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Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

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This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.