Washington University in St Louis Library

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I think I will start out with a building that left a negative imprint on me. Many years ago I toured Washington University in St Louis with my family, as my twin brother was considering attending. The walk up to campus is breathtaking, as you go under a massive archway with this incredible gothic structure towering over you. We were told in our first class that gothic architecture tends to be a standard of higher education, and certainly Washington University has held itself to that standard. I was certainly impressed with the grandeur and aura of the campus. However, as the tour went through the center of campus I was surprised to find this ugly, squat thing dominating the middle of an otherwise impressive lawn. The concrete, square, and jarring building clashed horribly with the stately buildings around it. I was reminded of Frank Lloyd Wright, whose buildings often seemed designed to challenge our preconceptions of what a building SHOULD look like. I suppose I am too conservative, for all I could see was the clash of ideas instead of an artistic expression that was merely different from the older, more conservative styles around it.  Regardless, I have always been left with a negative impression of the building.

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One Big Tower

Last Christmas I was lucky enough to slip in a road trip to Chicago, Illinois. It was the first time I’ve ever visited the Windy City. I was immediately in shock when the city and its plethora of towers came into view along the horizon. The only area I had to compare it to was Bricktown, and this city made Bricktown look like child’s play. Needless to say, I was extremely overwhelmed. The first massive structure I visited (my personal favorite) was the Hancock Tower. From the base of the tower, staring towards the top, I was very disoriented and it actually made me dizzy. This tower flaunts its support beams, some of which cross over each other and accomplishes its intimidating, industrial HackcockTower

 

 

look. If you want to capture one of the best views in the city, you’ll have to pay $20 to hop on what they claim to be the world’s fastest elevator. It’s a very small price to pay for such an outstanding view. TowerShorelinePic

 

It really felt like I was on top of the world and in comparison, most of the other towers seem tiny. I definitely look forward to visiting again and hopefully it’s sooner than later.