A big showoff that doesn’t disappoint—for once
Skinned with plenty of hutzpah and reflective glass, 1401 West Broadway Avenue is seven flights of of 1990s fancy that stands as flagrantly as it can on the northwest corner of the intersection with Hemlock Street.
Two things are especially notable about this building. In the first place, I find it terribly reminiscent of the sort of garish computer case mods favoured by some post-Y2K PC gamers (the hinged cover on the front, the DVD slot on the top, the expansion bays on the side), which is altogether strange because the building dates back to 1992.
And secondly, for all that its mirrored facade shouts “look at me!” There is generally very little to see.
Facing into the sunrise, as it does, the shiny east side of the building will occasionally glare menacingly at the morning rush hour traffic but most hours of most days it just reflects the surrounding plainness of the neighbourhood and a grey to greyish-blue sky. The west side of the building, which is mostly prefab concrete, is even duller.
This is all to explain why it was such an unexpected surprise, at 7:58 a.m., on the morning of Monday, January 11, to have dramatic rectangles of reflected fire roiling up the rounded southeast corner of the building.
However it happened — whether the sun spread out more than usual or just moved over a bit — doesn’t matter. It was just nice, is all, to see the building living up to its hype for a change. Click the image to enlarge it.