Roger Ebert said it better than I ever could. This is an excerpt from his piece about the subject in Chicago's Sun Times:
"I walk around Chicago, and look up at buildings of variety and charm. I walk into lobbies of untold beauty. I ascend in elevators fit for the gods. Then I walk outside again and see the street defaced by the cruel storefronts of bank branches and mall chains, scornful of beauty. Here I squat! they declare. I am Chase! I am Citibank! I am Payless Shoe Source! I don’t speak to my neighbors. I have no interest in pleasing those who walk by. I occupy square footage at the lowest possible cost. My fixtures can be moved out overnight. I am capital."
There were several examples around downtown Portland which were all about function at lowest cost and nothing else. This is one of those monstrosities:
This cynic concludes that bean counters made the decision to create an ugly building.