Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mandarin Oriental & The Russ Building

The Mandarin, originally uploaded by deanv41.

We are looking west up Pine Street from the Financial District.

Dominating this shot taken from the 24th floor, is The Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The hotel itself sits precariously above the break you see in the stories of windows. Below this break is office space and above, where the views are sweeping, reside the Mandarin guests high, high above it all. The main building rises and then splits into seperate finger-like skyscrapers. Glass corridors bridge the twins midway, creating a dramatic skywalk. It is also called the "Tweezer Building" for the piercing shape of these two spires.

The dark mass just to its left is the Bank of America Tower, a kind of Darth Vader on the skyline, though I prefer to think of it as many stacks of copper pennies.

Finally, to the far left is the Neo-Gothic visage of The Russ Building, from 1927, George Kelham, architect. I worked there briefly in the 1990s. I especially liked the rooftop deck and tea rooms. It is a fine structure with quite a lot of history, including a famous moment for Allen Ginsberg in the old cafe on the ground floor at a pivotal moment in Beat times.

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