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Degenerate City: From Landmark to Eyesore in Under $100 Million

Degenerate City: From Landmark to Eyesore in Under $100 Million

How does one begin a design journey with a historic landmark in a prime, idiosyncratic location and arrive at a $100 million non-place somewhere between an East German superblock and Midwestern strip mall? That's a question I'd like to pose to all parties involved in the redevelopment of Hampden's once-beloved Rotunda shopping center, now an unlikely chimera assembled from architects and urban planners' worst nightmares. Chiefly, I direct that at New Jersey-based developer Hekemian & Co. and local architecture firm Design Collective. The ironically named "ICON Residences at The Rotunda" somehow manages to be blandly offensive and almost obscures its supposed...

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