The Fedderist Manifesto

Today I wish to add a new weapon to the arsenal of wretched real estate rhetoric. My buddy Kevin over at Forgotten-NY brought us the oft used and loved term “Fedders building”. What I propose is a modest and simple expansion of his creation:

Fedderize (fed’er-riz) vt. -ized, izing, izes 1. remodeling an old building in order to make it completely and utterly hideous.

Exhibit A
149 Grand Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211

149 Grand Street

Let’s start with this one. Though it is a pretty mild example several elements of Fedderization are manifest:

  1. The addition of Fedders boxes to an otherwise beautiful facade
  2. Jarring use of stucco
  3. A vinyl awning which has no aesthetic relationship whatsoever with the rest of the building

When I saw this building my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe someone would deface an otherwise okay building by installing Fedders boxes. Whoever is responsible for this should be kicked in the head.

Let’s proceed to the most venal example of Fedderization I have ever seen. In fact, the following turd was the inspiration for this post! Get out your motion sickness bags folks. You’re gonna need them.

1007-1009 50th Avenue
Long Island City, NY 10111

1007-1009 50th Avenue

How-lee Sheeeeee-it!

I remember this building. It was once an unremarkable, if slightly run-down, clone of its neighbors. Now it is a hideous melange of what the fuck:

  1. The first floor and all the window sills are slathered in titanium white stucco.
  2. Two Fedders boxes grace each floor . They look like teats on a sow.
  3. The store front on the right employs the sparing use of marble, which is sort of odd given they didn’t skimp on all the other ugly shit inflicted upon this building.
  4. The store front of the left looks like something one would find in an industrial park. It does not match its companion to the right. One would think the Fedderist responsible for this gruesome twosome would be consistent in his (or her) craptitude. Obviously this was not the case.

Could someone please explain to me why someone would outlay (what appears to be) a lot of money to do this? Although I dislike the practice, I can understand why many developers have seen fit to erect ugly, over-sized, institutional-looking buildings in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Long Island City and beyond: to save money. This, on the other hand, I do not get. Thoughts anyone?

Miss Heather


3 Comments on The Fedderist Manifesto

  1. rj on Tue, 14th Aug 2007 12:03 pm
  2. I know what you are saying about expensive embellishments that look like crap. I feel that way whenever I see a building with a marble facade. wtf?

    I would also like to add that when I see the word “Fedderize” my brain likes to add a syllable and say “Fedderline-ize.” My word is less about air conditioners and more about trucker hats, 5 o’clock shadow, and babies on hips.

  3. lisanne on Tue, 14th Aug 2007 7:18 pm
  4. It seems a class about designing buildings that have the same class and integrity of existing structures was not a required course with the current crop of architects.

    They all look like they were designed by people from the communist era. I guess they think it’s “moderne”.

  5. missheather on Wed, 15th Aug 2007 5:38 am
  6. You have a point there Lisanne. Some of these “new” buildings look like something Enver Hoxta would have built. Mind you, this far-sighted leader (of Albania) also peppered the entire country with cement bunkers lest someone (the U.S.?) chose to invade it.


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