Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thank You, Escala

Therefore a good many city streets (not all) need visual interruptions, cutting off the indefinite distant view and at the same time visually heightening and celebrating intense street use by giving it a hint of enclosure and entity.

-- Jane Jacobs, in the chapter "Visual order: its limitations and possibilities," from The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Of course, there are many complaints to be waged against Escala -- namely that it is essentially a gated suburb in the middle of the city, complete with a private social club, that will further isolate the building occupants from the homeless kids two blocks away in the Westlake Park -- but that's not the point of the post. The "visual interruption" that the building provides is welcome from this vantage point, in the "Financial District," or whatever they are calling this block (note that Escala is in "Midtown," according to its website). For that, and only that, I thank Escala.

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