Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gray Plaid Grids

At the intersection of Pennsylvania and Ohio Streets.
The building on the left is M&I Bank, that on the Right is the Chase Tower. 

Earlier this week, I was waiting for the bus at the intersection of Ohio and Pennsylvania Streets. It was late afternoon and the shadows were beginning to add depth and angles to the grid-like patterns on the taller buildings. The grids and their variations are the predominant theme among the newer buildings  in the downtown area. Devoid of curves and flourishes, the buildings that make up Indy's skyline resemble folded gray paper and Tranformers grown amok. The older buildings that are left provide the warmth, character and the lace.

Scaffolding a half block north of the intersection
on North Pennsylvania Street.

The scaffolding, located at a building just north of the intersection on North Pennsylvania Street, has been erected so that workmen can repair and repaint the stucco, creates a pattern of its own. The sun reflecting off the angled bracing reminds me of an Argyle sweater.

I looked down and saw the pattern in the covering to a freight elevator shaft. There, within a few feet was a texture of diagonals to echo that of the scaffolding. Not so much Argyle as big fluffy yarns.


dive said...

Gray plaid grids: what a perfect title, Speedway. You have an expert eye for picking up the patterns all around us and turning them into art.
I had to giggle at your description of checkerplate as big fluffy yarns. It's hilarious but it's absolutely spot on. Brilliant.

Speedway said...

Thank you, Dive. It seems that in lieu of curves, which add expense, the architects have attempted to add visual interest with these grids of different color marble and glass. Otherwise they'd just be big cardboard boxes.

One of the buildings has a twin in Chicago,or at least a big sister from the same family. It's almost as though the owners picked it from a catalog of tract homes ("I'll have 27 floors of that with the pink marble and gray glass.")

Over here, what you referred to as checkerplate, we call diamondplate. Whatever it's called in the picture it looks more like woven large gauge yarns.

dive said...

It does indeed It reminds me of Monty Python's movie "Holy Grail" where all of the metal chain mail armour looked totally realistic but turned out to have been knitted.

Speedway said...

And I'll bet the knitted "mail" was a hell of a lot lighter, flexible and easy to wear than the real stuff was, unless they were getting slashed at with real swords.