Skip to comments.'Worst building in the history of mankind' gets a face lift
Posted on 09/07/2009 7:03:50 PM PDT by mathprof
A towering North Korean hotel which Esquire magazine once dubbed "the worst building in the history of mankind" has come back to life with a facade of shiny glass windows affixed to one side of the concrete monolith.
But few expect the North will ever finish construction of its 105-storey Ryugyong Hotel, started in 1987 and halted for 16 years because it could have bankrupted the destitute state.
"The hotel doesn't look as shoddy as it once did, probably because of the reflective glass," said a member of a civic group in South Korea that recently returned from a visit to the North.
The 330-meter (1,083 ft) tall hotel dominating the Pyongyang skyline consists of three wings rising at 75 degree angles capped by several floors arranged in rings supposed to hold five revolving restaurants and an observation deck.
Foreign residents of Pyongyang contacted in Seoul said Egypt's Orascom group began renovations last year.
The peak of the 3,000-room hotel, in a country that permits few foreigners to visit, is encircled in new rings of shiny steel. Mirrored glass has yet to be affixed to the other sides of the muddish-grey concrete structure, foreigner visitors said.
"North Koreans told me that you put the glass on one side and if all goes well and looks fine, you then continue on to the others," the civic group member said.
Analysts said the North was likely sprucing up the Ryugyong's facade as part of a campaign to try to turn the state into a "great and prosperous nation" by 2012.
The communist North started construction in a suspected fit of jealousy at South Korea, which was about to host the 1988 Summer Olympics and show off to the world the success of its rapidly developing economy.
But by 1992, worked was halted.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
It’s still ugly.
Communism sure leads to creativity and drive doesn’t it?
Do they actually get tourists in Pyongyang, and is each room hard-wired with bugging devices?
Ugly lite. On Wed, our Dear Leader will present ugly lite to us.
I heard that it was made with substandard concrete and it’s crumbling.
yes each room is wired but they don’t have enough electricity. so they just station a monitor in the room with ya
I wonder if the other side has glass as well.
NK is a dark place at nite. All this glass is meant to catch and reflect starlight. Passive nightime lighting?
Nope. If you read the article. They can only afford to do it one side at a time.
I bet Van Jones would love to “stay” at the very tiptop of that thing.
Definite Gao’uld influence...
They’re supposed to finish just in time for the building to collapse.
This statement is composed of the same empty rhetoric we hear from our -11 dear leader.
If you think this looks bad, wait till you see Obama’s presidential library
Please. It looks far better than the EMP in Seattle.
Whole damned thing is empty —or one single floor SOMETIMES has folks there.
Must be like an episode of the Twilight Zone to stay there...
It would be an interesting building in a city like Tokyo or NY, but as the only tall building in a city it looks like crap..
Well, at least the sky looks clearer. O, right... idle factories don’t pollute.