Monday, May 22, 2006

Straight White Men Doing Stupid Things (As Usual)

Before my family ever visited Los Angeles, much less lived here, William Pereira's 1964 Transamerica Building has stood out from the rest of the Los Angeles skyline.

Hollywood never attacked the building in the movies with creatures from outer space, as was the fate of LA's
City Hall.

Rather, the post-modern tower --as with Welton Beckett's DWP building, were quite simply the most beautiful glass-and-steel structures ever built, proof that post-modern architecture need not just be a box.

Alas, just as Fox News decimated the Welton Beckett offices in Century City, news comes that the new owners of the Transamerica Center, LBA Realty, have commissioned the architectural firm of Gensler to re-sheath the exterior of the building. At least Fox had an excuse for gutting the interior of the Welton Beckett offices, yet like the Russians' remaking of Unter den Linden into a visual reminder that Communism was in control, Fox had to obliterate the exterior off one of the most distinctive architectural landmarks in the city.

The boxy high rise skyscraper has come a long way since Louis Sullivan. No one could deny that there are plenty of buildings that deserve to be redone-if not given the "Fountainhead" treatment by Gary Cooper.

The Transamerica Building --which most people still call it no matter who owns it-- has always been a magnificent design.

The re-design of the Transamerica building will result in not one square inch of additional rentable office space. It will serve no purpose other than to... oh, Hell... it serves no purpose whatsoever.

Do the guys at LBA Realty have small penises? What other excuse is there?

I guess you can tell I am not amused.

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