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October 13, 2010
Well, Okay: The Ugliest Biopharma Sites?
In response to a reader query in the comments to yesterday's post on scenic research sites, I guess we should explore the other end of the scale. Nominations for the ugliest/most depressing research site are now open. This is physical surroundings, folks, not mental atmosphere, not that that can't get oppressive at times. We're looking for things that can be captured by a camera. There can be a connections, though - as Kingsley Amis put it ("Aberdarcy, Main Square"):
The journal of some bunch of architects
Named this the worst town center they could find
But how disparage what so well reflects
Permanent tendencies of heart and mind?
Looking back, Schering-Plough's old Bloomfield site was not exactly a sweeping vista of loveliness, but (to be fair) it did look better than some of the rest of the neighborhood, and the Home Depot and parking lot that replaced it during the 1990s have probably never made anyone's heart leap, either. Sticking with the N. New Jersey sites, some of which are going to be strong contenders in this category, it's unlikely that either Merck's buildings in Rahway or Roche's in Nutley have inspired much lyric poetry. Other nominations?
Note: in the spirit of that Amis reference, those who find themselves affected by nasty industrial landscapes might want to cheer along with John Betjeman's "Slough".
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