Last week, L.A.-based architect Catherine Garrison gave voice to Highland Park residents who are unhappy with a drive-through Starbucks that recently opened in their neighborhood, calling the dismal stucco box an "awkward space" with "poor craftsmanship" and "no legible design intent." Soon enough, one Yelp reviewer had deemed it the "most depressing Starbucks in America." A spokesperson for the coffee giant addressed the controversy by telling KTLA "we agree this store is not representative of this neighborhood, and are committed to taking specific actions that will address the concerns we've heard." In the process of reporting the story, KTLA also interviewed some incensed locals, prompting a delightful round of off-the-cuff architecture criticism.
In the segment, Highland Park residents call their new coffee hut (previously a Classic Burger) "a mockery of a building," "prison-like," "a bunker house," "very minimalist," and completely without "the charm and the quaintness that they said they were going to give the community." KTLA's Lynette Romero adds her two cents as well, agreeing that the location has "no real ambiance, no cool factor." Indeed, it's a far cry from channelling Richard Neutra and designing to promote spontaneous romance.
· Starbucks Promises to Take Action After Highland Park Residents Call New Shop the 'Most Depressing in America' [KTLA TV]
· An Architect's Worst Burns on Saddest Starbucks in America [Curbed LA]
· All Starbucks coverage [Curbed National]
· All Los Angeles coverage [Curbed National]