I’ll start with a confession: I am not, and have never been a hater when it comes to the new Lowe’s on Bayshore Boulevard. The old Goodman’s was an eyesore, I always disliked driving to the ‘burbs just to buy a few things from a big-box hardware store, I still visit Cole Hardware whenever possible, and Bayshore itself is an ideal location to accommodate this kind of commercial roadside architecture. So bring it, I said back in the planning days.
And for the most part, I still think Lowe’s is a good use for that patch of land. Yet it must also be noted that the portion of the store that faces Bernalwood’s gateway intersection at Cortland is a complete disaster — a blank wall of stucco soullessness doesn’t even attempt to engage the flow of the surrounding streetscape. Total. Design. Fail.
Sure, it photographs well if you want to capture an image that typifies the bland impersonality and brutal aloofness of American big-box architecture. (See Exhibit A, above) But otherwise, it’s pretty heinous — even if the store itself is a net positive.
Yet now that the building is up and what’s done is done, is there any way the Cortland-facing portion of the Lowe’s structure can be redeemed and de-uglified in a neighborly sort of way?
UPDATE: 11 March, 2011
Reader Waldo has come up with an excellent proposal for the wall in question:
Photo: top, Telstar Logistics