Presenting the new Clinton Middle School, Tulsa, Oklahoma -- a building that expresses to perfection our current social consensus about the meaning of education. It stares balefully at the street with the blank-faced demeanor of an autistic child preparing to explode in violent rage. It summarizes our collective aspirations about school as the unidentifiable contents of an inscrutable set of boxes. This is one of the reasons that public education is failing so desperately. Also, keep in mind the colossal scale of the capital investments we're making in these terrible new buildings. They will bankrupt us even as they rapidly fail as institutions.
Here's the old Clinton Middle School -- not a gem of the Beaux Arts, but at least a building that expressed some purpose, some decorum, and some proper orientation to the public realm. Keep in mind: the absence of trees or any other site decor makes it look somewhat worse than it would with proper landscaping.