U of M is one of the ugliest college campuses, Travel + Leisure says

Doesn't look so bad to us...
Doesn't look so bad to us...

As anyone who has walked through the Soviet Union-esque concrete jungle that is the West Bank can attest, the University of Minnesota isn't the epitome of beauty.

SEE ALSO: Two U of M students caught having sex inside the Bell Museum

But one of the ugliest campuses in the country? Given the prettiness of the Mississippi River, the classic appeal of parts of the East Bank, and the cool campus-within-a-campus vibe of the area around the Regis Center, that characterization seems a bit strong. Nonetheless, it's the conclusion reached by Travel + Leisure in its list of "America's Ugliest College Campuses."

T + L's methodology is qualitative, so take the U of M's inclusion on the list with an appropriately sized grain of salt, Gopher Nation. T + L's Ivan Spencer writes that he and whoever else put together the list "consulted the Princeton Review,, and other forums where students hotly debate all aspects of campus life" in order to figure out which campuses are the ugliest.

Here's what T + L had to say about the U of M particularly:

Many great architects including Steven Holl and Frank Gehry have tried their hand at turning the commuter campus of the University of Minnesota from Brutalist to Pritzker Prize-worthy. It's no small feat. Take, for example, the Coffman Memorial Building: the only feature that could make it look more industrial would be the addition of smokestacks. With more than 30,000 undergraduates all on one campus, the University of Minnesota is the one of the most populous in the country. "It's simply too big," complains one student on the message board.

Sure, Coffman might fall short of the Platonic ideal of beautiful architecture, but really, who cares when you've got both a Chick-fil-A and a Jamba Juice inside the damn thing?

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at

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