Monday, November 3, 2008
Power and Prestige (Jayson Parker)
I’ve made it. I now have my own law office in the Empire State Building. A building that is ubiquitously known throughout the entire world, and visited by tourists year round. I did not realize the depth of my achievement until that elucidative first day when I moved into my office. It was then that I became aware of the history of the Empire State building.
The little gold frame with off white parchment paper, which was hanging on a pillar in the lobby read. The Empire State building was built in the 1930’s by Shreve, Lamb and Harman Associates and was once the tallest building in the world. It set the standard for all other buildings to aspire to. The idea behind the design began with a race to build the tallest building in the world beginning with the Eiffel Tower at 984’, the Woolworth building at 792’, and ending with the Chrysler building and the Empire State building which were both being built at the same time. The Empire Sate Building surpassed them all standing at 1,250’ and 85 stories. However, before any of this could be accomplished the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel had to be bought and demolished before any plans could come to fruition. Many were sad to see the famous hotel go, but there was some solace in knowing that it would be rebuilt at 301 Park Avenue where it still stands today.
The Empire State building stands as a symbol of power and prestige. With my office being located at the top of the building it too acts as a symbol of power and prestige. In addition to the location of the office I also have place my Herter Brothers Library Table at the center of the foyer letting everyone know that this is a place full of history, power, and prestige.
In contrast to my building and my table is the National Gallery of Art (East) building. It is a building that was built to be a museum for modern art. It does not aspire to be the tallest or grandest of anything and is not worthy of such antiquity as mine. A friend once asked why I did not like modern art, and I said that modern art is a rebellion from what we know already works and works well. No one will replace the Greek and Roman architecture. It will always be as powerful today as it was then and that is what I associate my antiques with. Modern art is a fad that will shortly fade away.