There is something that can not be captured in a hastily taken photograph in how Bear Stearns World Headquarters Building shines, with it’s glass crown sucking up clouds, amongst dark art deco buildings of the Jewelry District, when already late, sleepy and caffeine deprived I drag myself to work, on the way to the door handle that will give me a static shock and my noisy cubicle. I also can’t take a decent picture of the building’s crown when it lights up at night.
Joseph Ainslee Bear and Robert B. Stearns must have been superhuman to build a company that occupies a building like that. At leas their names are pretty cool. I wonder what “B” stands for.
Turns out the Lehman Brothers led display is modular. One morning I’ve seen the maintenance people changing some burned out leds.
Some interesting stuff I learned from http://videosystems.com/ar/video_new_dimensions/ :
One Reality Check project involves a corporate installation in Times Square in New York City. It’s a huge, animated sign on the side of the Lehman Brothers building. The sign shows a mix of animation, information, messages, and mood based on changes in market news, the weather, time of day, or Lehman’s discretion.
The sign is a huge system of LEDs, 5340Ã—736, that stretches vertically from the third floor to the fifth floor of the building. Horizontally, the sign wraps around the building from halfway down the 49th Street side across the entire length of building facing Times Square, then halfway down the 50th Street side. Uniquely, the building’s windows are not obscured by the sign. Rather, the sign is built around them.
By incorporating the sign into the building’s facade, the architects, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, followed the letter and the spirit of a new city ordinance pushed by then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. That ordinance required any new construction in Times Square to have electronically lit signage with a size compensatory to the size of the building. While on many buildings those signs are little more than placards jutting off a facade â€” a giant Coke bottle or lit billboard â€” the Lehman Brothers building is itself an electronic sign.
Of course, the odd shape of three large horizontal bands connected by narrow vertical bands of LEDs between the windows of the building begs non-standard content. There are no 4:3 video images here to captivate the tourists.
The sign is kind of cool. I sometimes go to the Starbucks across the street to sit there and watch it.
Every time I look at the Citicorp building I can’t help but think that it only stands there because LeMessurier did the right thing back then. And because of some luck.
And I look at it a lot. Unfortunately I never worked in it, but I’ve attended an organ concert in the St Peter’s Church that sits under it.
I’ve pretty much settled into a way of working with dead tree books. It works as follows: I carry a pack of tiny little post-its in my pocket. When I find an interesting quote I put a postit on the edge of the page. Later I scan the text of interest to me with my c-pen.
I’ll be posting interesting snippets in my journal for your amusement.
Right now I am reading a books about Starbucks Coffee Corp. called “Pour Your Heart into It : How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time“.
The author, Howard Schultz tells his rags to riches story. He talks about his father not being a good provider when he was little and how he made it big. He puts the emphasis on how he tried to make Starbucks a company that would treat people like his father better. I also have to cringe every time he mentions coffee quality and “romance” of Starbucks stores.
But sometimes it gets just really hilarious:
About his wife :
“Sheri was on the rise in her career, working for an Italian furniture maker as a designer and marketer. She painted our walls light salmon and began to use her professional skills to create a home in our loft-style space. “
About his friend:
“We had a great life, A few years later, Harold introduced me to his nephew, a rising jazz saxophonist known as Kenny G. We were two young men, each aspiring to make a mark in different fields, and our friendship grew as we faced similar kinds of challenges. Kenny eventually invested in the business, too, and even played at employee events and per- formed benefit concerts at our plant and market openings. His music became a part of the culture of the company. “
Also interesting is that William H. Gates II, William H. Gates III’s dad, helped Schultz fight some legal battles.
Bought this today in a drugstore. Is it me, or does it seem that Duane Reed pharmacies are multiplying like Starbucks?
The Kodak billboard’s screen that shows eye animations made a funny face. No wonder, that “Stitch” billboard is creeping me out too. I did not even notice that Fleet bank’s billboard was missing a crucial letter :)