Best Landmark (2006)
The Crystal Palace
There was much grumbling and gnashing of teeth when the Broward County School Board laid out $29 million in the 1990s to build its new headquarters, soon derisively dubbed "The Crystal Palace." For many, the shiny, dark-blue 14-story juggernaut jutting up beside the county courthouse was an example of a bloated bureaucracy out of touch with its constituency. Then when Hurricane Wilma whipped through here last October, the K.C. Wright Building took a real pummeling and became the most visibly damaged structure downtown. Most of the glass on its west side shattered and rained down upon streets and sidewalks. Through the gaping holes vomited papers and folders and fixtures. In the days following, the palace became the leading sightseeing destination, an example of mother nature's wrath, poor construction, and official hubris.