Monday, June 6, 2011

A Modern Take on a Historical Building

I love and adore the Arcade Building (8th and Olive) across from the Old Post Office.

After financing fell through on a development deal, it’s just been languishing for years. There was talk of it being torn down. (NO! Absolutely friggin’ not, people!)

Recently though, someone boarded up the uppermost windows which had been almost completely exposed when the plastic that had been covering them deteriorated. I took that as a good sign.

Then, several weeks ago, I noticed these canvases being put into place. I took that as an even better sign. I think they are awesomely cool. Some of the arches, which really are part of the space they are covering, are part of the canvas. On a few others, they’ve left the real arches exposed and fit the canvas neatly inside the arch.

They’re cooler still considering that the pictures inside the arch shapes feature architectural features from other buildings. I recognize three.

One is from the Railway Exchange Building. Why is it familiar? I have a similar photo (that I took) on the wall in my office!

Another is from the American Theater. Again, I recognized it from my own photos of the theater ...

And, the most recognizable, is from the Wainwright Building.

This is one of the ones where they tucked the canvas beneath the actual arch of the entryway/window instead of including a fake version in the canvas. I like the Wainwright well enough. But I much prefer some of Louis Sullivan's other works, especially his other existing St. Louis skyscraper, the Union Trust building. (Yes, I know. Call it sacrilege, but I think they should have torn down the Wainwright instead of the Buder or Title Guaranty buildings.) Even so, I'm glad they didn't and one of that infamous trio survived.

Sullivan supposedly was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, though I fail to see much of his influence in Wright's work. Sorry. Again with the sacrilege ... Wright reportedly called the Wainwright Building "the very first human expression of a tall steel office-building as Architecture."

Well, maybe.


hardwood floor refinishing charlotte nc said...

Wow that is an awesome building! It would have been a shame if that would have been torn down. Thanks for sharing!

Bill C. said...

Wow, I am drooling over this building!