Fredericksburg City Beat

This blog includes news about City Hall, city schools and other 22401 news.

Pamela Gould reports on City Hall. You can reach her at 540-735-1972 or Robyn Sidersky reports on city schools. You can reach her at 540-374-5413 or

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Don’t pick on the big guy

Even a building commonly known as the “Big Ugly” has its defenders. From a comment on the story that ran today on future options for the Executive Plaza:

“If you look at something as ugly it is to you. All architecture is not the same but that does not mean it is ugly. If the concept is not to a person(s) liking then that could be classified as ugly. This is not giving expression to different viewpoints. If you think that the architecture of the 1906′s and 1970′s is ugly then conversely all “Colonial” architecture is desirable. Where is the visual stimulation? A building is valued for it’s character, not everyone has the same character or personality.”

It’s not just today’s architecture critics that look down on the building. Back in August of 1973, when the City Board of Historic Buildings was reviewing designs for the soon-to-be-built Plaza, then-HFFI President John Willhide called it “a moose of a building.” Yesterday, architect James McGhee chose a more exotic animal to compare it to–a gorilla.