Boerum Hill/ Gowanus

Brokelyn Ugly Building Contest winner!

uglybuildingCongratulations to Peter McCarthy who captured true hideousness at 126 3rd Street in Gowanus. Peter is the winner of our Brokelyn Ugly Building Contest, where we asked for readers’ snapshots of the most horrendous edifices they could bear to photograph around Brooklyn. These are all the architectural uglies that made it a contest to remember. Thanks to everyone who sent in their picks. For his “winning” shot, Peter gets a stylish, and not-remotely-ugly, “6 Million Dollar Home” bag thanks to our friend Adam over at the Crumpler warehouse in Brooklyn. Now feast your eyes…

126 3rd St., Gowanus


  1. Lindsay

    I’m sorry you chose this one out of all the entries. The building is in rather poor condition, but the design of the building itself isn’t so bad. It’s hard to tell from the photo but it looks like there is some nice brickwork at the parapet and interesting deco details above the garage piers. With a little sprucing up (better windows, brick cleaning, etc) it could be a nice building… not like some of those horrendous new buildings in the flickr pool. That’s my 2 cents, anyway.

  2. I agree with Lindsay, I think this was a bad choice. It is actually a pretty cool building that just needs to be better maintained. I live on 3rd Street and I’ve always admired the building’s design and how it fits on the streetscape. There are a lot of really ugly new buildings out there that don’t fit into their community or streetscape. I hope you refocus on those moving forward.

  3. M Whipple

    Is this a case of sour grapes? Are you upset because your photos did not get chosen? If you didn’t enter photos then perhaps in the future you should, I only say this because you seem well aware of the ugly buildings in your area

  4. Lindsay

    Yep, super sour grapes here. Somehow I missed the prompt to submit pictures, I could have turned in some doozies. But I still think the one they chose isn’t so terrible.

  5. i live near that building…there is so much crappola out there, why choose an art deco building that just needs some TLC when there are so many Karl Fischer wannabees out there?

    but congrats on winning anyway!

  6. Aardvark

    Bad choice! The building’s basic proportions are fine. It’s well designed to serve its original function. To my mind, buildings are hideous when they are inconsistent with their neighbors, when their proportions inspire vertigo, or when they’re bedecked with architectural tchotkas. (See AIA Guide or Miss Heather for definition.)

  7. M Whipple

    I agree with Diamond Joe that is one ugly building. There are tons of ugly buildings out there. The one that has won this contest though while the building structure might not be hideous the upkeep of the building has made it ugly. It has rust stains down the front and that 70’s mustard yellow is not attractive at all. In my opinion this is an ugly building.

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