Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Tuesday, October 12, 2004  

Take a Tour of My Town

"My Kind of Town (Sacto is)"

"I Love SA" (SAcramento)

"If I can make it here, I'll make it anywhere; it's up to you, Sacto, Sactooo"

Last Sunday, my wife and I took a little tour of our downtown (Sacramento, CA) for a photography outing. Here's a few of our magnificent public buildings, along with a number of edifices that the State has imposed on us.

You will be able to judge the quality of bureaucratic judgment regarding fine architecture, and how much we, the locals, must love it, besides our own wonderful examples of exemplary admiration for quality structures to enhance our urban landscape.

Fasten your seat belts if you thought George Lucas' visions were restricted to cinema.

1) Yes, we call this building (taken from the north) the Darth Vader building.

Amazing likeness, isn't it? Makes you wonder -- what were they thinking.

2) This next building is a county criminal justice office building, I believe. Makes you think that Kafka must have worked here to research his book, The Trial.

3) These next series of pictures depict what is called the East End Project. The State owns a number of acres of land which are directly east of the Capital Mall, and decided to build a series of office buildings to cover two blocks on both sides of "M" Street. The City of Sacramento pleaded with the State architects and the Assembly to create a mixed cityscape of retail shops, restaurants, and some housing on the site so that it wouldn't be an urban wasteland after 5 pm and on weekends, but the State, in its infinite wisdom, declined to make the area more liveable and amenable to human beings in a city.

They turned M Street into a grassy, and artsy boulevarde. This next picture shows our public art geniuses producing what looks like drum heads for a communal war dance.

4) These "drum heads" are meant to illustrate something about California, I suppose, and may be lit up at night (but I haven't seen that yet.)

5) Both sides of the street look like this building. Warm, welcoming, and gorgeous.

6) This is a weird kind of arch where two sledgehammers face off against each other. The materials of the buildings are quite good. There are marble, granite, and serpentine facings, but how incredibly wasted.

7) This is a colannade or gallery, if you can call it that. Notice how the sharp angles, straight edges make the pedestrian feel at home.

8) Then there is a sinking walkway that leads to this, and then a jog to the right and you're at the street level sidewalk. The Capital dome is in the background.

9) Close up of golden ball and reflection of the building facing it. Arty photo. Maybe I'll win a prize for a city contest.

10) Capital Dome from the east. Not bad at all. We have a law about the height of buildings in the close vicinity of the capital so that they don't overwhelm the structure. That's okay.

11) Darth Vader again lurking over the Capital Mall park. He's up to no good.

12) Two more buildings overlooking the Capital Mall. Not a pretty sight. Not horrible, but without any distinction except . . .

13) We call this the Ban Roll-On building. It helps to see it from another angle, but you get the idea.

14) Another office building of the Kafka mode. Simply horrible.

15) Another glass box. Again, not horrible, but not pleasing either.

16) This edifice with the impressive post modernist peak will be seen again as a reflection.

17) This picture combines 15 and 16. Arty photo two. I don't know if we have any buildings over 40 or 50 stories.

But I will say that when I come from the west or the north driving to Sacramento and see the skyline 50 miles away, I get a lovely feeling of coming home.

I know it's not a very impressive skyline but it rises from the Central Valley desert floor, stands alone, and says -- City -- which my daughter agrees with. She has the same feeling when coming home from a trip.

18) The Green Glass building is a bank office and was one of the first modern highrises built downtown. I call it the Green Monster, and it has a terrible water sculpture on its terrace in front that supposed to look like a music note with flag of an eighth note. It's a kind of water slide.

19) A group of buildings including Darth. The taller middle building is an office building attached to our old library with modern editions in the style you see. The older, lower building on the left with the Yahtzee roll of 5's goes back in time prior to the very modern age of Sacto buildings.

20) The Capital dome from the west side. It seems right to close on this. I hope you have enjoyed this brief tour of my town. Sacramento is a pretty decent place to live. I hope to show a few more aspects of what makes it worthwhile and attractive despite State planners who commandeer parts of it for bureaucratic buildings.

posted by Mark Butterworth | 11:47 PM |