Friday 16 March 2012: Towers of Time
I am lucky enough to work in an area of undeniably wonderful design and architecture. I do not know if this is fact or myth, but I have been told that the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, in the aggregate, have one of the highest per capita ratios of architects and designers in all of the United States. The older I get, the more I appreciate the importance of great architecture in determining the soul of a city.
I am thankful that buildings are not built solely based on budgets and practicality but on the esthetic value as well. I am sure these buildings are not the sole decision of any one party. Rather, they are the culmination of many who have a say: the owner, the constructor, the designer and architect, the engineers, the city design council and the neighbor review board. Some how or another, all of these voices come together and result in magnificent structures which, at times, can take your breath away. What would New York be without Rockefeller Center or Paris without the Eiffel Tower? Many believe that a city is made of buildings but I believe buildings MAKE a city. And while tourists come with the understanding that these buildings are to be appreciated, in the hub and bub of my daily routine, I some times forget to stop, look up and say....wow! Today, to escape the immediate pressure of a deal, I walked outside for a breath of fresh air. As I rubbed the back of my neck and crooked my head upward, I saw the reflection of the Wells Fargo Tower in the glass facade of the IDS center. and said.....oh my!
For those who like big buildings, as I do, here is a bit of history:
The Wells Fargo Center is the third-tallest building in Minneapolis. Completed in 1988, it is 774 feet (235.6 m) tall. The building was designed with a modernized art deco style by César Pelli, reflecting nearby structures. It is also considered by many to be a homage to the GE Building at New York City's Rockefeller Center. It was built to its height in respect to the IDS Center, one of the most remarkable glass curtain wall buildings ever built in the USA. The Wells Fargo building was erected to be one foot shorter than its "older brother".