I refer generally to Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, since I am given the impression by my more Protestant friends that they prefer their churches to look dreadful for the better mortification of the soul (or something).
But it used to be that people would build churches to be beautiful. And they were. They reached toward the sky and their windows broke the light up into little gem-colored rays. They blended mediaeval splendor with nineteenth-century aesthetics and theology and were hugely successful.
I know that building a church that doesn't look like a massive cinderblock is more expensive than building one that does. That is not an excuse.
Everyone says "well, God doesn't care." Which I somewhat doubt, but is irrelevant. I care. I, strangely, prefer not to have my skin crawl in horror at the plaster and poor proportions and banners batiked by blind hippie children. It makes an attitude of reverence very difficult.
And why do they build these monstrosities when venerable and beautiful churches lie empty or half-full? I was in University City the other day and passed the chapel from the old Episcopal seminary--now in disuse, as far as I could tell. It was imposing and lovely (it had some questionable choices in its stained glass, but that is neither here nor there).
I have been in many beautiful churches, but it will never pall. I have been in more than zero ugly churches, and that is far too many.