Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Prelude To A Fall? 

It has long been said that individuals and companies who build great buildings for themselves are on the edge of a fall. If that is the case, this fellow is facing disaster. What do monuments like this communicate? Hubris, certainly, and arrogance. There is no economic reason for building this high. Moreover, buildings such as this divert attention from one's main business.

Looking around Manhattan, I can think of two buildings just on Madison that were built at the zenith of corporate power that disappeared shortly thereafter. There is the old AT&T building that now belongs to Sony, and there is the new Bear Stearns building that will go to the new owner of the failed firm. Both were built at a time when the corporations had seemingly unlimited power to grow.

Big buildings are statements, but often not the messages their builders intend.


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