D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton spelled it out bluntly for city developers and architects on Thursday: Your taste stinks.
"If you want to know what disturbs me about this city, I have never seen such pedestrian architecture in my life," Norton said during a Congressional subcommittee hearing on the District's building height limit.
She added later: "It seems not to have drawn the most creative instincts for architecture."
Norton was referring to downtown, dominated by "undistinguished," sprawling and often glassy buildings. On the other hand, she said, some of the city's libraries "where there are architects not having to do with federal structures," were commissioned to design their homage to books.
"It looks like it is the work of architects," she said.
Downtown, namely K Street, actually started out life as a boulevard lined with Victorian mansions of the wealthy. But most of those were razed by the early 1900s to make way for retail stores with upstairs apartments. Those fell victim to the office building kick that started in the 1950s.
Wonder what Norton and the future will bring?