Previous generations had a different attitude towards natural light. Of course, some might say that it was because gas and kerosene lamps were expensive and unsafe. But I think I am beginning to understand why Tesla could not find any takers for his evilest invention (yes, eviler than the earth splitting device and the death ray) – the fluorescent lamp. Who would agree to work in an inhuman greenish glow instead of natural light?
Well designed early skyscrapers had plenty of large windows, even the factory floors were sun drenched. I’ve read in Henry Petroski’s “The Book on the Bookshelf” about library stacks that had glass floors, transparent enough to admit light to the lower floors, but opaque enough not to allow upskirt peeks.
Here’s a similar concept: store’s trapdoors that have little glass windowlets that admit light from above. I wonder what ripped so many of them out. I’ve seen other steel doors like that, and it seems to me that it’s pretty hard to mess them up. The thick glass is firmly embedded into steel and they are flush to the surface.
Visited Brooklyn College yesterday to take a look at the newly reopened library.
Well, they’ve spent countless millions, and now the insides look like a typical yuppie apartment. Various designer chairs (mostly Aerons and some other expensive looking wooden ones) , desks. The circulation desk looks like a reception desk in a Fortune 100 company. Tons of tables with ethernet hookups. Some crappy Dells with 15 inch flat panel monitors running Win XP are available in “labs”. Lots of air conditioning ducts and eyes-in-the-sky.
Could not find any of the books that I wanted in the horrible mainframe search app (you telnet into it from the workstations). I was looking for some Lee Friedlander photography books , “The Legend of Amdahl”, some real estate books, some books about NYPD. Nada. Oh well, there is abebooks.com and amazon.com. And I have Aerons and fast network connection at home.
I thing that royally pisses me of is that they are using crappy bright fluorescent lamps. I hate those. At work I unhooked one that is right above my cube because it was driving me nuts. Yeah, spend millions on chairs and desks and install lamps that give everyone headaches.
The La Guardia reading room is gorgeous. There were some very nice black and white photos on the walls, a mildly interesting exposition of historical documents and photographs.
If I actually found any good books and did not get a headache from the lamps it would have been a great experience.