The Swastika building is getting a face-lift

Swastika Building(found via Natural Search Blog)

One of the first odd finds that we posted on Google Earth Hacks back in mid-2005 was a building in California that was shaped like a Swastika.  Since that time, it’s been downloaded from GEH over 8,000 times.  The same image on Flickr has been viewed over 16,000 times.

Chris Smith at the Natural Search Blog did some research into the building and found that is a Navy building, unintentionally built in that shape, because no one then expected millions of people to be able to view it from above.

CNN reported on the building today and included one new detail: The Navy has taken so much grief for the building that they’re going to spend about $600,000 to add landscaping and structures to make it look different from above.

As Chris says, while more and more companies are looking into rooftop advertising this is the first case of a building being modified just to improve PR.


  1. Wow. The power of the masses LOL

  2. Sigh, better this than piles of dead bodies in Iraq (or those piles any where else).

  3. In Lugano Switzerland we have an enormous fountain shaped like a giant David Stern.

    Loot at it in this pIc, it’s partially covered by vegetation now.

    Is this offensive to someone flying over?

  4. that’s idiotic to have to spend that much money to change the building so it wouldnt look like a swastika. use the money for something more important. just because it’s shaped like that doesnt mean its a horrible building or organization. the navy fought against the nazis, you know.

  5. This is cool, does anyone know when it was built? or know the origin of the swastika symbol? ‘let good prevail’ its a hindu symbol

  6. jgonzalez says:

    The swastika shape was a very common geometry used by architectural theorists of the early 20thCentury, including prominet designer and theoretical architect Peter Neufert, or Bauhaus founder (later dismantled by Hitler) Walter Gropius, among many others. This form in particular is considered as one of the most efficient building layouts of the modern movement, and can bee seen all around the world. There is no relation with Hitler’s swastika or the ancient rune (used by the Thule Sceret Society as symbol and later copied as the Nazi banner). It is a mistake to think so. Many of these buildings where designed and constructed many years before Hitler revealed his banner for de Germania of a thousand years. This is just like thinking that all cross shaped buildings were designed as tribute to Christianty or to Switzerland… Remember for linear design concepts for hotels, ofice buildings, hospitals, etc.. the most effiecnt forms (and cheap) are the X, the cross, the swastika and some other similar shapes that have geometrical resemblance to many religous and revolutionary symbols in human history.

  7. Meh. isnt it stupid spending that much money on a building because it looks like a nazi symbol?
    Why not spend it on somthing a little more usefull, like finding a way to have a pen that works in space?

    the us spent about 20 thousand dollars making one of those, and you know what?
    The rest in the space race used pencils.

    Yet another perfect waste of taxpayers money.

    The American Govenments public relations are rediculous.

    I hate facists, but i would not go to the lenth of spending $600,000 to make a roof look different.

    Down with capitalism!

  8. Leave it alone………it’s beautiful!!

  9. wow….

    If only they knew what the building was gonna look like at the time they were building it…. no one would be offended.

    I gotta admit… IT’S HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!



  10. Oh my gosh. How bloody rude of you people
    As a Jew, I find it downright idiotic to have been there in the first place. I would have gladly forced them in court to make them pay that money.
    susan, to think a swastika is beautiful makes me digusted. 6 million of people like me killed because of 1 man who i would gladly call the worst man in humankind in history.

  11. josh, that symbol was used waaaay before the halocaust, and not for bad reasons. i think your over reacting a little bit, i dont think susan is like, some hitler nazi down-with-jews person. im guessing that she thinks of the old, better meanings for the symbol. so dont freak out and sue susan!… heh heh.. sue susan.. it starts with the same sound…

    chill out!

    from, matt :D

  12. one more thing. jongalez dude? how do you know all that stuff? did you like, read the encyclopedia or something?

  13. I’m not a Jew or a Nazi but I think that Susan’s comment is unacceptable, especially in todays society where people should know better.

  14. i think her comment is fine. its so unfortunant that everyone goes with society. It is not a bad symbol. it was used as a peaceful one before they the nazis even adopted it. Just as the kkk adopted the confederate flag. There is a lot more meaning behind things than what your textbooks teach you. People should learn more about history and then you can figure out the present. Its ignorant to KNOW something is one thing and shun the thought away because someone else told you it was another because it got a bad wrap. Im not down with hitler or kkk or hate and racism for that matter. But i think its a little crazy that (maybe) a tibetan group would be heckled for their symbol because hitler tainted it. And then people wonder why people get angry because others want them to change their history and heritage. Im just saying that it was something great that everyone used before and now no one can use it because society automatically thinks of the holocaust. Its just ignorant.

  15. Josh cool down, gosh it is just a building.