Friday, January 04, 2008

I've got a few things on my mind these days, among them the ideas surrounding ruins, sprawl, and rebuilding....this whole idea that you might have to break a few eggs to make some omelets - or knock down some buildings to get with the new economic paradigm. In the process, I'm wondering if the new paradigm will be looking something like this:

...This Museum of Natural Phenomena was designed by architect Terry Nicholson to resemble a courthouse from the Bahamas which has been picked up by a hurricane and dropped, upside down, on to a citrus-packing warehouse in downtown Orlando. Designed in the neo-Palladian colonial style, the courthouse is literally upside-down, with palm trees dangling from the sky. The pediment shatters the pavement like a meteorite and visitors enter through a fissure in the masonry to stroll over the ceilings. The Rev. William Gilpin had declared in one of his Picturesque guidebooks of the 1770's that a country house in the symmetrical, boxy Palladian style could only be transformed into a Picturesque object by seizing a mallet and battering one half into a pile of rubble. He had never seen a hurricane.*
Which makes me wonder... if the rumor at the end of this post proves true and the folks at Victory wait for that more favorable lineup on the City Council, what will we be treated to in terms of the neo-Picturesque? If the developers of the demolished projects are held to their promises, will there be upside-down renditions of Lafitte on the properties? Is romanticized rubble and/or vacant lots touted as "back to nature" preserves in this city's future? Only time will tell. I really don't want anybody taking a mallet to my home, though.

*from In Ruins by Christopher Woodward

And, actually, the blurb about the WonderWorks says the following: This once top-secret laboratory was located in the Bermuda Triangle, when it was ripped from its foundation by a horrific tornado and carried thousands of miles away to International Drive, Orlando Florida. This tornado was created by scientists from around the world trying to find answers to the unexplainable. During their experiment, something went awry and the power of the tornado was unleashed throughout the laboratory. Remarkably, all of the experiments remained intact and functional. Tornado, hurricane...Bahamian courthouse, Bermuda lab...what's the diff?


Sophmom said...

Thoughtful post. It's a complex issue surrounded by a $#*!storm. I don't pretend to know the "right" answer either.

D-BB said...

Hi there Lippy. U ever been to that upside down house right outside of Disney World? I liked it better than the Haunted Mansion altho it was easier to cop a feel in the Haunted House because it was dark. But I was afraid, especially after what happened to me a day earlier over at It’s a Small World over in Disney World. I need to write about that mess one day.

Ain’t life a stream of never ending conundra or what?