Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I volunteer at a tiny art gallery every once in a while.  Because my schedule is insane, I only ever make it there about once a month, but I keep it on my schedule because why not.  The gallery is on the first floor of City Hall, almost completely unknown to the public, which is fine by me, because I just sit and read for a couple of hours in almost completely uninterrupted silence.

I was interrupted this morning by a quiet, somewhat grizzled older guy in all black and a feathered hat who came in to ask me about prints of the pieces, all recent shots of architectural landmarks around Phoenix.  He pointed to the Valley National Bank on Camelback and 44th st, saying, "That's my building."  Maybe I've just had too many downtown kooks up in my face recently, because I just smiled and nodded to the guy, thinking, yeah buddy, it's my building too, we all like it.

I asked him for his contact information to follow up about the prints and watched as he printed his name in exacting block letters, then spent the next 10 seconds squinting blindly into space, my mind desperately trying to remember and fact check without the internet.  As soon as he started to leave, I concluded: he designed the Valley National Bank building, the "mushroom bank," in 1968.

IT IS HIS BUILDING.

I didn't call after him to tell him that I had finally figured out who he was, because really.  His demeanor was interesting, very quiet, almost awkward, although I usually find introverted, subdued people to be interesting. 

Anyway, he is cool.  About the building.


2 comments:

Nick said...

Hmmm. I was just enjoying the fact that it hasn't been torn down yet as I drove by a couple times last weekend. I like the meager surroundings in the early picture.

B said...

Yeah. I think it's safe for now?