2. The Target in the Hampshire Mall is a fine addition, but it took over half of mall section it anchors. That wouldn't be so bad, but that expansion necessitated adding a new mall entrance and hallway inside. The architect in charge of making this hallway decided the best thing to do would be a large, bright white, migraine-inducing fluorescent-lit hallway with stylized pillars and shiny tile. You know, something that looks NOTHING like the rest of the mall, which is lit with incandescent bulbs and brown/beige tiles and stuff. But that's so like the Happy Valley, really -- put some crummy structure with prefab components that hardly fits in with everything around it. Kevin of Kevin's Krummy Auto Rental, I'm looking at you. May you rot in hell for your RMV travesty, now squatting with unclenched sphincter muscles on a piece of Hadley farmland. But while the RMV exists outside anything else, this Horrible Mall Hallway (a long undecorated swath of white wall, by the way, with no store facades or nothing) is inside an actual building. Which used to have a uniform look. Which didn't need to slowly morph into an annoying "modern" kind of mall. I hope the disease does not spread to other parts of the place (though the Cafe Square look has been infringed upon for almost 10 years now with Media Play and such.)
3. There is hope, though: A set of "premium condo housing" or whatever on Pearl Street in Northampton, while a brand-new building, is just beautiful. The brick looks aged in parts. There's a beautiful cornice top. The whole design fits in with the rest of that part of the city. It really looks like it's been there all along, which is clearly the intent of the architect. And for that I say bravo.
If only more yammering morons around here would appreciate that intent and use that for their new buildings, too.