16 December 2008

Not Quite Crapitecture


This almost-complete apartment building on Columbia and Summit Streets in Brooklyn ain't gonna win the architect the Pritzker Prize, but it's not wholly hateful, either, at least by today's standards. (I'm sure Queens Crap will disagree with me.) Why? It's partly the rough-hewn quality of the dark brown brick work, partly the arched windows. But mainly it's that clock.

Can anyone recall a piece of recent crapitecture that featured an ornamental public clock such as that? There's absolutely no reason why, in these selfish times, a developer should want or need to add a detail like that to any building. Such touches are of another, more civic-minded century, when builders cared about the thing they built and what the people thought of them. Putting a clock up there doesn't pay the builder a single penny extra. It's a wholly altruistic gesture. Or, looking at it more cynically (I can't help myself), a convincing attempt at appearing altruistic.

Either way, I don't care. I can now walk down Columbia without a watch and know the time of day.

4 comments:

-T said...

That brickwork is really fantastic, though. Very, very artistic.

c_tjones said...

Is this a Gino building? I thought it was... If it is, it's quite a departure from the hellacious bldg at Conover and Van Dyke...

Becky Malaria said...

You're right. This is around the corner from us, and I groaned when the scaffolding went up. But it's progressing a lot better than a lot of the unholy crap going up... c.f. the p.o.s. on Wykhoff blotting the sky from my back windows.

Becky Malaria said...

And by Wykhoff, I of course meant Woodhull. (Derr)