Hotel of Doom!

Across the street from my building, the new Trump Tower is going up. Since it’s just across the street from the former site of the Bay Adelaide Stump, I’ve heard people calling it the Trump Stump. All kinds of rumours continue to swirl that they’re only building eight floors (well, since there are 11 up now, guess that kind of quashes that one) or that they’re going to quit building because The Donald and his hair have pulled out of the project. These people obviously don’t know the Toronto Real Estate market.

But it reminded me of my favourite unfinished, ruinous hotel. Yep, folks, it’s time to have a look at the Hotel of Doom, the “worst building in the history of mankind”, #3 in a recent CNN list of World’s Ugliest Buildings:

This is the Ryugyong Hotel, the pride of Pyongyang. It’s 105 stories tall and those sides are at a 75 degree angle (described by one commenter as “just plain wrong.”). And it’s unfinished. It was started in 1987, and was meant to have 3,000 rooms and a casino. Because North Korea is just such a HUGE tourist destination, you know…

It was supposed to open in 1989. It never did. In fact, nothing more than the concrete superstructure was completed. It was abandoned in 1992. After that point it was stricken from maps and residents of the city would not talk about it. It had once been proudly displayed on stamps. Now it was airbrushed out of city views.

It looks even creepier from above:

You can see from the picture below how the hotel absolutely dominates the skyline–and yet, people would pretend it’s not there.

However, you’ll note something interesting about this 2009 photo: they’ve started work on it again. Being North Korea, they’re pretty cagy about the whole project, but it looks like an Egyptian company is planning to use it for world’s tallest, creepiest cellphone tower. One side of the hotel has gotten its glass claddding, and the top part appears to be finished on the outside. There is serious doubt, however, as to whether it can ever be a functional building due to the poor quality of the concrete used to construct it. The Egyptian company seems to think so

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