Architecture

Building Fuehrer in Alabama!

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Slow news morning, via AP and Alabama. There's a publicly financed building down that looks like something out of a Mel Brooks movie from the air:

Prompted by complaints from a Jewish activist, the agency that owns the government-funded building is planning to alter its shape to disguise the Nazi symbol. The move comes just a few years after a $1 million design modification meant to quiet similar complaints from a U.S. senator.

"The difficulty is there are a limited number of options for fixing a building that has been there for some time," said Mike Giles, counsel for the Methodist Homes Corp. of Alabama and Northwest Florida. "We have to come up with a way to fix an appearance that we want solved and not hurt our residents."

Wesley Acres provides government-subsidized housing for 117 low-income people ages 62 and above. Most have no reason to suspect their hallways take on a sinister shape.

The one-story building, designed in the mid-1970s and completed in 1980, underwent a $1 million alteration in 2001 with funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development following complaints by Democratic Sen. Howell Heflin, who has since died. But the addition of two wings did little to hide the offensive shape, and in some ways accentuates it.

Options for the new renovations include the addition of covered porches or other outdoor areas.

More here.

Maybe they could move Judge Roy's Ten Commandments there, put a Christo-style wrap over it all, and then forget about it.

Jesse Walker reminds me that this is not the first time a swastika skyscraper has come under scrutiny at Hit & Run.

NEXT: The RateMyCop Saga

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  1. They could always wrap it in cling wrap.

    and maybe adorn the windows with David Hasselhoff (brand) Bidet covers.

    and isn’t there a series of buildings in a west coast Navy facility? (San Diego or something like that?)

  2. Maybe they could tell the people who are complaining to shut the fuck up and realize that it’s just a building that accidentally ended up looking like an ancient Hindu symbol.

  3. Kill it with fire.

  4. It’s a very useful shape for a building.

    Stupid Nazis.

  5. Maybe they could move Judge Roy’s Ten Commandments there, put a Christo-style wrap over it all, and then forget about it.

    Just like the cosomotarians, wrapping a little anti-racism in some anti-religious bigotry. Way to go reason! No one here wanted Judge Roy’s monuments publicly

  6. …funded–not even Jesus Christ. But you’re sure to get some cheap laughs by conflating the two unrelated issues.

  7. What joe said. Do these people hate efficiency?

  8. I’m with CosmoKramer.

    Huh?

  9. “Way to go reason!”

    Close enough for a… DRINK?

    CB

  10. Kill it with fire : )

  11. Racist architects? In Alabama? Where Lee’s birthday is a state holiday?

    Say it ain’t so.

  12. Wow. In the whole architecture design-review phase no one looked at a basic floor plan and said, “Hey, wait a minute. Doesn’t that look like a swastika?”

    Really, I’d like to interview them. But I guess thirty years later the design team would be hard to find.

    OTOH, I sort of agree with joe. The world would be a lot better off if we’d quit giving “evil” symbols so much power.

  13. Tell the people bitching about this to either pay for the renovations out of their own pockets or shut the hell up.

  14. joe is absolutely right.

    If you want to maximize the number of rooms that have windows, and don’t want the expense of curved walls, you get a swastika.

    At this point, the majority of the influence the swastika has over people is due to the actions of people trying to eradicate it from the face of the Earth.

  15. >If you want to maximize the number of rooms that have windows, and don’t want the expense of curved walls, you get a swastika.

    Well, if you closed off the edges of the shape you’d have like a 2×2 grid with practically the same amount of windows per capita (with a couple fewer corner rooms)…this is how a lot of European buildings are shaped.

  16. I think we have the cover for the new Ron Paul political report.

  17. tarran,

    They could close in the squares, so its just a plus sign inside a big square, but then you end up with courtyards instead of parking lots.

    This would also work, giving the same number of hallways and not looking like a nazi designed the building.

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  18. I think stupid fucking twats should have to pay for it (nothing personal, Jennifer).

  19. Nick,

    Best title of the morning!

  20. Chris Rock – “White people have too much spare time!!!”

  21. Excuse me, but… that thing up there is a “skyscraper”?

    Gillespie never makes sense to me. Never.

  22. The solution is clearly to only use left-facing swastikas for buildings, since the Nazis only used right-facing ones. Either that, or everyone can just unbunch their panties and stop whining.

  23. and put some small sheds between the arms, so you can turn around and ask all the critics “what, do you hate buddhism? are you a racist!?!?”

    cause i imagine that’s fun as hell.

    But you’re sure to get some cheap laughs by conflating the two unrelated issues.

    cheap laughs are nature’s way of saying “thank god we’re alive!”

  24. To bad everyone forgets that the so called Nazi symbol was actually a preexisting symbol from southeast Asia. Hitler stole it and corrupted the worlds view of it.

  25. If the sides were closed off, it would be harder to get maintenance equipment into the inner courtyards.

  26. How about a compromise, like a giant Star of David in the middle? Or maybe a disclaimer (*Not an endorsement of Nazis, Nazism, or Nazi-like phenomena)?

  27. Completely irrelavant to the thread, but has anyone seen the site for the Ron Paul rally in April? On the agenda is David Von Kleist and James H Fetzer. Why do I think this is going to blow up in everyone’s face? There are congressional races popping up and we do not need this kind of stuff muddying up the waters.

    http://www.grannywarriors.com/rally.htm

  28. Looks like a good choice for the international headquarters for Tobacco Control and the Public Health Gestapo.

  29. I like robc’s suggestion.

    We could call it the “St. Lawrence Building” and turn it over to the CIA for grillings.

  30. If the sides were closed off, it would be harder to get maintenance equipment into the inner courtyards.

    Not to mention the amount of parking you lose.

    It’s probably hard enough to get families to visit the lonely old geezers there. Take away convenient parking and you’ll lose them all.

  31. jesus christ…can a person do any goddamn thing in this post-modern liberal society without hearing from some “minority” about how this upsets them, or it degrades them or they’re not be treated fairly. the point should be that if you don’t like it get the hell out. we’ve got child molesters, murderers, gang bangers and rapists all walking in and out of society, yet someone takes the time to bitch about a fuckin building design. who gives a frog’s fat ass. you can’t do shit today without being an anti-semite.

  32. I wonder if you could google earth this thing?

  33. I wonder if you could google earth this thing?

    Why yes you can!

  34. Excuse me, but… that thing up there is a “skyscraper”?

    Gillespie never makes sense to me. Never.

    That’s because, you’re like a total square, man.

  35. They could turn it into a summer retreat for kids.

    Mein Camp!

    (someone had to say it)

  36. Just write “Ceci n’est pas une swastika” in big white letters on the roof. Then it becomes art and everybody’s happy. You could probably get the NEA to fund the renovation 🙂

  37. Bulldoze it, and replace it with FEMA trailers, arranged in a happy face. Should be doable for ninety million dollars, or thereabouts.

  38. Here in south Alabam, if your mobile home is on block towers more than 4 blocks high, it is technically a skyscraper.

    “dhex | March 14, 2008, 9:54am | #

    and put some small sheds between the arms, so you can turn around and ask all the critics “what, do you hate buddhism? are you a racist!?!?”

    ummmmm. What is this biddhism you speak of?

    This wasn’t a problem till folks other than the rich white ones got airplanes.

  39. buddhism even

  40. That building is degrading to womyn.

  41. How did the plans for this building get through the design phase and architecture firm without anyone pointing out the obvious?

  42. I suggest putting a decorative red ring around the whole complex, with a slanting diametrical red bar. From the air, you would then see a “NO NAZIS” symbol. From the ground, you’d just see some interesting curvature added to the roofline. Depending on the diameter and thickness of the ring, parts of it might serve as shade awning in the hot summertime, as well. Finally, instead of the building being a laughing-stock, it could become a traffic-drawing, perhaps even money-making tourist attraction.

    Cheap and effective. Too bad they didn’t think of that before spending $1M to add those extra wings.

  43. They could close in the squares, so its just a plus sign inside a big square, but then you end up with courtyards instead of parking lots.

    Just have the wings end 20 feet from the existing walls, but continue the roof line. It will create a nice arched effect for people entering, which could also produce a nice inside/outside effect.

  44. Billy Beck can’t see
    skyscrapers from his tower
    So Nick must be wrong

  45. Could they convert it to some sort of theme park? Joseph Goebbels World, maybe? Not that there are a lot of Nazis in Alabama, but I imagine that Nazis from all over would come. And bring their children.

  46. Maybe make it a camp. For people who have trouble concentrating.

  47. Or a Luftwaffe POW camp. With fun and hijinks for all.

  48. Fucking Germans. Fucking Nazis. Nothing ever changes.
    Oh come on, Donny, they were threatening construction. Am I wrong? Am I wrong?

  49. “””the agency that owns the government-funded building is planning to alter its shape to disguise the Nazi symbol.”””

    I heard that when it’s done it will look like a sickle and hammer.

  50. “The term ‘Swastika’ is believed to be a fusion of the two Sanskrit words ‘Su’ (good) and ‘Asati’ (to exist), which when combined means ‘May Good Prevail’.”” http://hinduism.about.com/library/weekly/aa121400a.htm

    What’s wrong with a building in the shape that represents “may good prevail”? Does the guy objecting disagree?

  51. Maybe they could move Judge Roy’s Ten Commandments there, put a Christo-style wrap over it all, and then forget about it.

    I believe those now reside out of state. Now, if we could only get Roy Moore to follow suit.

    Wesley Acres provides government-subsidized housing for 117 low-income people ages 62 and above. Most have no reason to suspect their hallways take on a sinister shape.

    Most have no reason to suspect. Period.

    Could they convert it to some sort of theme park? Joseph Goebbels World, maybe? Not that there are a lot of Nazis in Alabama, but I imagine that Nazis from all over would come. And bring their children.

    I’ll pass that on to the local tourism bureau. Serves them right for all of the terribly written press releases they send out.

    The Matt J said:

    Racist architects? In Alabama? Where Lee’s birthday is a state holiday?

    I think the appropriate response is, “Up yours.”

  52. BTW, Reason passing along this story is obviously part of a smearbund campaign against me.*

    *For those of you just joining us, Decatur, Ala., is where I work and conduct most of my social alcoholism.

  53. Democratic Sen. Howell Heflin

    My first serious girlfriend in high school was his niece.

  54. Democratic Sen. Howell Heflin

    My first serious girlfriend in high school was his niece.

    Did she ever tell you this story?:

    Sen. Edward Kennedy was photographed with a female friend getting frisky in a boat off Martha’s Vineyard. Knowing Heflin was always good for a quote, some reporters showed him the photos and asked if he had any comment.

    Heflin supposedly replied, “Well, I declare! It sure looks to me like the senior senator from Massachusetts has done gone and changed his position on offshore drilling!”

  55. No, FH, never heard that story. LOL.

    Actually, she was kind of vague about it, sort of like any teen ager not really knowing exactly what Uncle Howell did for a living. Plus her family lived out here in Californicate. It wasn’t until after we broke up that I came to realize that Howell Heflin was her dad’s brother.

    Now, hopefully her family don’t read H&R cuz she came to detest the very mention of my name. Dimes to donuts her brother still wants to kick my ass. But I think I could take him now.

  56. I didn’t say that quite right. I knew her uncle was a politico in Alabama. I didn’t pay that much attention and she was vague and it wasn’t that interesting. At some point I saw Howell Heflin’s name in the paper or on the news or heard something else and put it all together in my own mind. [light bulb comes on–no wonder she was such a liberal]

  57. James Anderson Merritt | March 14, 2008, 3:07pm | #
    I suggest putting a decorative red ring around the whole complex, with a slanting diametrical red bar. From the air, you would then see a “NO NAZIS” symbol.

    This is full of win. Heck, they could advertise the place based on one design addition and people would FLOCK.

  58. Actually, the freemasons did it. Didn’t you know they were also Nazis?

  59. How did the plans for this building get through the design phase and architecture firm without anyone pointing out the obvious?

    Probably thought no one would ever look at it from the air, and if they did then would realize that it is just a good layout for an old folks home, not an ad for Hitler.

  60. Maybe they should stfu, and leave the building alone? Ya think?….Last time i checked this was a free company…I mean country….. sit the f**k down pig, and stfu….

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