Well, what do you know. Doomed it is. I was hedging my statement yesterday about the demise of my workplace, because I didn’t want anyone to think I had some inside information. I mean, I do, sort of; rumors are going around. But yesterday there was a piece in a local business journal about the paper looking for new space, which of course means the old space will cease to be.
Talking to a friend at the office about it, he said he doubted anyone had feeings for the place, Maybe me and a few other hopeless cases. Perhaps. It’s possible that the trials of the last few years, starting with the Great Purge of 2007, just bled out the mood. It didn’t help that they walled off room after room, shutting down the utilities, locking doors, huddling everyone towards the center of the building. Our video studio is in a room that used to house the offices for some other print products we put out besides the newspaper - back when papers did that sort of thing. There are still offices with desks and drawers and whiteboards from the old days.
In short, think Walking Dead Season 3, not Season 2. We had our Season 2, when everyone was in the nice farmhouse in the countryside and the herd of zombies came through the woods; that would be the early Oughts, when the internet was eating our lunch and stealing our lunch money. (Actually, they didn’t steal it so much as take all the lunch money the industry left sitting unattended on the table.)
So where will we go? What will we do? Frankly, you don’t give a damn. Understood. But there are three possibilities that fit the paper’s needs. One:
The old Nieman-Marcus site.
That would be just fine with me. Just fine.
Then there’s the third Washington Square Building:
Do you see it? No, it’s hiding. It’s behind the nondescript building on the left, not the ugly stupid
mistake building on the right.
I’ve always liked this one, not because it’s great, but A) because its predecessor in the Washington Square complex is such an ugly monster (designed by the WTC architect, too) and B) For a modest late 80s tower it avoids the glassy cliches, and has some solidity. The narrow windows are regrettable, but it’s playing off its big brother across the street. The top is nice. That could very well be a Newspaper Building, and it would be nice to have a view that’s a few floors up.
Then there’s the third option. In which case . . .
. . . just kill me now. Block E. If I have to work in Block E I will . . . well, I will work in Block E, but there’s no place I would rather not be. Aside from the karma - the place is an utter failure, a monument to the folly of building Big-Idea projects and hoping they’ll be a “destination” for people, when they offer nothing new and charge for parking. It’s a cartoon building, a joyless clown built on the grave of a real urban block that was allowed to go sour, then wrecked instead of rehabbed. God no please no. No no no. No.
No. Okay? Because, well, no. LOOK AT THAT THING. LOOK AT THAT THING.
The marquee's probably gone now, because the movie theater died, along with the Border's and most of the other stores, because LOOK AT THAT THING. It's like Mussolini's architects tried to design Main Street in Disneyworld.