Friday, March 15, 2013

Moving Day

The Rouse Company building ends its original purpose today. The Howard Hughes Corporation is moving out and over to new offices above Clyde’s restaurant and the building will now essentially shut down until the massive redevelopment effort begins in May. Monday morning, for the first time since 1974, no one will report to work in the building.

Before they turned out the lights one last time, I took the opportunity to capture a few final images of its former life, while it still had a third floor. That 33,000 square foot chunk of internal space goes away with the buildings restoration and reincarnation.
Then again, it won't really eliminate the third floor because what is now the fourth floor will become the new third floor. Suffice it to say that the ceiling height on the street level floor will be dramatically higher and this staircase would lead to nowhere.

When this building opened in the mid-seventies it broke the mold for suburban office buildings, particularly in the more conservative Baltimore business community. Frank Gehry created a corporate headquarters that mimicked the ambiance of its malls with clerestory glass and ficus trees. Gehry once described it as an "elegant warehouse."

I just recall that it was a very cool place to work, especially in those heady days of the Malling of America. From the mid seventies to the late eighties the company was opening five or six new malls across the country every year as if it would never end

And then it did.

To see more of the pictures from yesterday, go here.
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