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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The house where evil dwells

In a review of the new Mel Gibson film Edge of Darkness, Roger Ebert makes an interesting observation:
Because much of the movie is a cranked-up thriller with chases, fights, conspiracies and all that stuff, permit me a digression on secretive, shadowy corporations. What kinds of headquarters buildings do they inhabit? I Googled. Blackwater, which supplies our mercenaries in Iraq, has a drab two-story building outside Cleveland, with eight cars parked in front. Halliburton, Dick Cheney's old company, recently moved from Houston to an anonymous skyscraper in -- Dubai, closer to its place of business.

I mention this because Northmoor -- which you will not be surprised to learn traffics in illegal, traitorous and dangerous activities -- occupies a spectacular structure atop a tall riverside hill, visible from miles around: Its tower, its modernistic design, its curious enormous gleaming globe, suggesting a planetarium. It is a building worthy of magazine covers, not least Architectural Digest.
Well, it's obvious why Evil Co. always looks more spectacular in movies than in real life: Directors like to keep things visually interesting. That's why courthouses and libraries in films are usually old and amber-lit and architecturally detailed, with lots of wood and banker's lamps and statuary and what-not, even though libraries and courtrooms rarely look that way in reality.

So here's Goldmann Sachs, 32 Old Slip, Manhattan:

Nah. Just doesn't say "evil." Paint it black.

But wait -- Goldman also has the Goldman Sachs Tower in New Jersey, 30 Hudson:

Yeah! Definitely getting there. It needs something, though. I'm thinking giant, sparking Tesla coils on top of the roof, emitting clouds of sulphur...

Here's AIG:

That's the American International Building at 70 Pine Street; the other side faces Wall Street. To me, it isn't evil. The observation deck used to be open to the public, but when AIG bought the place they made it private. Now only AIG execs can enter that deck.

This building is the tallest in the financial district. The Twin Towers used to be taller, of course. Those AIG execs on the observation deck must have had an excellent view of you-know-what, unless and until they were forced to evacuate.

What I'm looking for is an Evil Corporation housed in a building that just screams" "I'm evil! EEEEEEeeeeee-Villllllllllll.....!" Any suggestions?

(Yes, Roberta? Ah. St. Peter's. Very funny. Now go to the back of the class and ask the saints to forgive you for dissing Bramante, Bernini and Michelangelo.)
From that angle you can't see the flaming eyeball on the roof of Goldman Sachs.
Well if not St. Peters, how about the LDS Office Tower.
You can't beat Mormon Temples for epitomizing fortresses of evil, especially the monstrous one blighting the landscape on the Beltway outside D.C.

But the director has a point about actual political operations of evil. Some nondescript building outside Boston was the "headquarters" of some of the rendition operations.
The Bank for International Settlements, otherwise known as "The Boot"
At night these buildings change shape. They turn into gigantic owls.
It isn't owned by an evil corporation but an evil country: Ryugyong Hotel in beautiful downtown Pyongyang. It might have been inspired by the Ministry of Truth. A description of the latter: "It is an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete rising 300 meters into the air, containing over 3000 rooms above ground."
And the hotel: "Its 105 stories rise to a height of 330 metres" "with 3,000 guest rooms"
You must know or have more than one Roberta who comments here, as I don't know what the hell you are talking about.
Looks like a put a quote mark at the end of the url for the hotel picture so it comes up as a broken link.
Actually, the GS tower you pictured - which is their current headquarters - is "85 Broad" not "32 Old Slip." I mention that because there is a lot of lore, not to mention word play, on the 85 Broad term. (An alumni group of GS women, for example, call themselves "85 Broads). 32 Old Slip is also a GS building, and, interestingly (or not) is over 10 stories taller than 85 Broad and a much more impressive structure, but it's where their HR folks, legal team, conference organizers (the "non-producers" live).

That said, you should really have captured a picture of their new headquarters on the West side hwy. Very, shiny and glass=fronted and quite angelic looking.

Anyway - thought you'd like the detail.
how is this?

Evil that self-destructed, but what of the Enron building in Houston?

Here is a picture but maybe the Enron building would look more evil in a storm:

More pictures of the Enron Building, looking more evil (to me) on this page:

Change shape?
Like the buildings in the movie Dark City?
The Strangers look like GS board members.
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