OK, it's true I haven't been to every country on earth, let alone seen every building on earth.

But I am still more than a little confident that I have seen the ugliest building in the world. And it's in the once majestic city of my birth, San Francisco.

The M.H. de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park was once a glorious edifice that was demolished after the 1989 earthquake damaged it beyond repair. It was replaced by a horrifyingly ugly "thing" that now sits in the park like a heap of space junk that feel from the stars.

But I digress because as ugly as the de Young is, it is not the ugliest by far.

That honor would rest with the new Federal Building south of Market.

I cannot speak for other cities in America. I can't even really speak for THE City. But I can tell you one thing for sure--style and taste apparently are no longer considerations when designing buildings in San Francisco. (But luckily for our dying earth, GREEN is a consideration, as there is no air conditioning in the building and elevators stop only every three floors to promote wellness.)

But I digress.

This building, in my opinion, is an insult to architecture itself. Gone is the style and elegance that once graced San Francisco's buildings. It is the greatest eyesore I have ever seen.

Everyone I know who has seen it asks the same question: Is it FINISHED?? Why is there still scaffolding on the sides of the building? That's not scaffolding. And yes, it IS finished. That ugly, mesh look is the same look that is afflicting the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. I have never dabbled in designing buildings, but my gut tells me it's not a good sign if the casual onlooker can't even tell if your work is COMPLETE.

Is this the style of buildings of the future? Then get me a time machine and let me blast to the past. I don't want any part of it.

It astounds me that a city that would take a stand on preserving a "Doggie Diner" sign wouldn't take an equal stand in trying to preserve a sense of architectural dignity in a once beautiful city.

I grimace at the thought of future architects trying to "one up" the Golden Gate Bridge or the Palace of Fine Arts. Maybe the talent pool just isn't there any more. Or maybe I am just old and cranky and have no taste.

AM I out of line? Or do you, too, get the impression that buildings are just slapped together these days like a 7-year-old making a ham and cheese sandwich?

I'll have the prime rib, please. And take your time cooking it, OK?