Thursday, August 19, 2010

An Intaglio Extravaganza

Last post I mentioned that designers could occasionally go a bit nuts when they got their hands on a pile of Intaglio blocks, right? Well, there's no better example than this former daycare center, on S. Ashland:

IMG_9302

This building is made of 1960s details, top to bottom - flagstone at the entry, stainless steel paddle door handles with a snazzy font, blue metal panels, blue glazed brick...

IMG_9313


But it's the blocks that put it completely over the top.

IMG_9314

IMG_9320

IMG_9304


And because it just wasn't enough to have vertical stacks of them ringing the entire facade, the north face has a sort of free-form design built into it, made of still more Intaglio glass blocks.

IMG_9318

IMG_1562

This can't have been in the original design. Even for a loopy building like this one, it just doesn't fit. It's the kind of design an architect doodles on his paper during a boring meeting, not the kind of design that actually makes it onto the building! A real estate site offering the building for sale notes that it was originally a bank, so perhaps this was a drive-up window or something that was later infilled?

After years as a community center and daycare, the place has gone vacant in the last year or so. Weeds are growing out of control in the paved lot and the playground. The real estate firm offering it for sale notes that you can occupy the building or redevelop the whole lot. So... enjoy the place while it lasts, because its future is up in the air.

IMG_1566

3 comments:

L. Shure said...

That was a lot of barbed wire for a daycare center.

Anonymous said...

My dad was President of the bank that built that facility in 1959 and that brick work is ORIGINAL. For the time, it was quite fancy.

The building was donated to the community in the 1990's and held a daycare facility until lack if funding caused it to shut down.

Robert Powers said...

Anon - thanks for posting this! It is always awesome to hear from people with a direct connection to a place.

Do you know the name of the bank?