The University of Washington had a functional Nuclear Reactor Building from the early 1960s into the 1980s. It faces possible demolition, but might be saved as a historical site because of the efforts of a former architecture student.

By Erik Lacitis
Seattle Times staff reporter

Back in 2008, when she was an architecture graduate student at the University of Washington, Abby Inpanbutr made this her passion: saving what some consider a truly, truly ugly structure.

She may well accomplish her mission of preserving the university’s now-abandoned Nuclear Reactor Building, a small, concrete building with angular slabs. It could be demolished as the campus expands and there are plans for a new Computer Science and Engineering building.

How ugly do some consider the reactor building?

This is a 70-by-76-foot concrete edifice that local architecture critic Larry Cheek described in a Seattle Post-Intelligencer essay: “To some of us, it’s the bastard love child of Brutalism and Burger King.”

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