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Friday, September 26, 2008

I Rather Liked This Tower

posted by on September 26 at 11:40 AM

Especially for a corporate tower: pretty good. I especially liked its thin skin and small parts. It was light. Everything about it was waferly, not too hard or too thick, just flying upward. Now when I look at it I think about the evacuation of the regular-folks side of the business, the part that dealt in things like single, thin, waferly dollar bills. The building looks like stacks of bills to me. I think about them all just flying away.

DSC_1458.JPG
(Image from here.)

The other thing that is remarkable about this photograph, besides the way it depicts what now feels like the irresponsible airiness of the building, is that the old Washington Mutual Tower is reflected on its side. That old 1980s building is a hefty thing, stocky and packed with heavy-handed references to history. It’s not a good building. But it has the sort of reassuring sturdiness I wish I could believe in again when it comes to banking. That was always an illusion, I guess. The new building was, unfortunately, more honest.

RSS icon Comments

1

OK, all you "We love Jen" asswipes - I challenge each and every one of you to come up with the answers to this question :

1. What point does this post serve?

2. What makes the writing and thought in it good, much less meaningful?

3. Why should she (or anyone) get paid for this?

Posted by I'm serious | September 26, 2008 11:43 AM
2

um, you know they're not knocking down the building or anything, right?

Posted by happy renter | September 26, 2008 11:50 AM
3

Ignore @1

It was interesting to me. I came here to be interested. Job well done


(it was actually beautiful to me, not just interesting)


So what references to history does the older building have?

I was actually thinking about this yesterday when gazing at them that I believe the corner stones are heavily engraved and it got me thinking about what a trust of faith that is...


There's also an older building near westlake mall that they moved out of, right? I've seen the Washington Mutual Trust Bank seal there, can't remember the street

Posted by Non | September 26, 2008 11:52 AM
4

I had the idea for this exact "changing of the guards" photograph a few months ago when I was walking up Pike at 3rd, glanced back at the building, and saw the reflection of the old tower perfectly framed on the side. Nice to see someone else took the photograph for us to enjoy.

I disagree about the old tower, though. I love that building.

#1, as far as I know, no one gets paid for Slogging.

Posted by w7ngman | September 26, 2008 11:53 AM
5

@3 - "I was actually thinking about this yesterday when gazing at them that I believe the corner stones are heavily engraved and it got me thinking about what a trust of faith that is..."

Ahh, congratulations. The "being an even bigger idiot and taking the bullet" ploy. Well done.

Posted by I'm still serious | September 26, 2008 11:55 AM
6

Are you kidding me? The old building is beautiful, has life to it, and will always look good. The new building is simply another example of the unimaginative glass exoskeletons popping up all over the city.

Posted by Jack | September 26, 2008 11:57 AM
7

I wouldn't have seen this lovely picture were it not for Jen's post.

Though generally a fan of modernist architecture, I really like the old WaMu tower. It's solid and tasteful and is lovely and humane at the street level, which can't be said for many modern towers.

Also, there's nothing dishonest about referencing history in architecture. Most great buildings in the late 1800s and early 1900s tastefully copied centuries-old elements of Italian and Roman architecture.

Posted by smarko | September 26, 2008 12:01 PM
8

w7ngman, they get paid per Slog I heard. Or some of them do anyway

Posted by Non | September 26, 2008 12:01 PM
9

1. No point, just an observation.



2. It's referential to the notion that post-modern architecture with it's allusions to historical detail blown up to ridiculous proportion is familiar and somehow comforting to the average citizen, while Miesian modernism is still viewed as strange and fundamentally unstable.

3. People get paid for less than this all time.

Posted by brian | September 26, 2008 12:01 PM
10

I have to admit it, the new Washington Mutual, Well the Chase Tower is a good looking skyscraper. Better than the Columbia tower as well.

At least they went out having good taste, and there is nothing more gay than that!

Posted by Andrew | September 26, 2008 12:03 PM
11

OK - OK. I give. Because if the original questions mean having to actually see words joined in sequence in the manner of #9's point 2 - well, I mean - a man can only vomit so many times in one day.

I would love to see all of you attempt something like, oh, I don't know, manual labor sometime. It would be a hoot to see.

Posted by I was serious - now I'm just depressed as hell | September 26, 2008 12:08 PM
12

@11: Are you commenting from a construction site? Or maybe a field somewhere?

Posted by Robin Sparkles | September 26, 2008 12:14 PM
13

I rather liked the tour in and around the core of downtown Seattle and the waterfront.

Just the sort of relaxing 'tour-is-tee' kind of fuzzy picture to keep one's head in the clouds and body safely on the sidewalks.

The fountains and hand railings and pergolas,

(possibly you [THAT WOULD BE THE READER OF COMMENTS, NOT OF COURSE THE AUTHOR of the Article] may consider the need to have to look again and "see if it disapears{"puuuurrrrgolas"})

that lend an ambiance to the lower sections of the view lines of Seattle that are obviously hard pressed to be valued like they are anywhere else on earth.

Following this art map will in fact, bring you very close to the the lower ventricle of the heart of duelism fondly debated over and over and over every couple of years while urbanites and frontiersman and women vie for tax based support and truth in spending laws between the local weeklies and their "ardent fans".

Perhaps, the twin response of this was already posted on the lower ventricles airline.

Posted by d.b.kieneker | September 26, 2008 12:19 PM
14

Serious... quickly... be alert and check for me darling the Seattle WEEKLY IN DUFF'S COLUMN, maybe the answer has been there all along!!!!

Posted by d.b.kieneker | September 26, 2008 12:23 PM
15

@12 - Why yes, my dear. Both. I'm in a lovely field of manure, being piled ever higher. You're right here with me - can't you smell it?

Posted by I'm seriously ill | September 26, 2008 12:23 PM
16

Dear seriously ill,

move to the bubble room with lot's of freah air and call the nurse.

Posted by d.b.kieneker | September 26, 2008 12:25 PM
17

I agree that the old tower is not a good building aesthetically. It already looks dated - like some 80's take on classical architecture.

It's phoney grandeur reminds me of an Eastside mcmansion.

Posted by Free Lunch | September 26, 2008 12:28 PM
18

The old tower won lots of awards when it was built. It does stand out among most of the Seattle skyline, regardless of one's feelings about its aesthetics.


I always thought the new building was the symbol of WaMu's excess and bellwether of their doom. They were already laying off temps and contractors and shutting down HLCs when it was going up.

Posted by laterite | September 26, 2008 1:07 PM
19

nbbj did the 2nd tower. it is elegant.

the 1st tower is clunky & cliched, a relic of the short-lived postmodern era. look east of it to the dark brick deco seattle tower for true awesomeness.

Posted by max solomon | September 26, 2008 1:37 PM
20

Sorry, but to me it's always looked like a bottle of Burberry Brit cologne...

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | September 26, 2008 2:03 PM
21

"The old building is not good."

Uh, wrong.

Unless you meant the lobby. It's terrible.

Posted by daytrpr | September 26, 2008 2:06 PM
22

You can still enjoy the aesthetics of the tower. It'll just belong to someone else.

Posted by Gomez | September 26, 2008 2:32 PM
23

@22: Enjoyment(tm) of the JP Chase Tower(tm) is "not allowed"(r)(c)(tm)

Posted by AJ | September 26, 2008 4:01 PM
24

I agree with your eloquent observations, Jen. I've wanted to dislike that new tower just on principal, but every time I look at it I am impressed by the attributes you describe.

Posted by homage to me | September 26, 2008 5:26 PM
25

Reminds me of the Church Office Towers of the LDS (Mormons).

Posted by Will in Seattle | September 27, 2008 12:13 AM

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