Then there's the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. The design of the facade is so unrelievedly embellished, without a visual breathing space anywhere, it raises the specter of the architectural peacockery Ayn Rand described in her novel "The Fountainhead": "It offered so many columns, pediments, friezes, tripods, gladiators, urns and volutes that it looked as if it had not been built of white marble, but squeezed out of a pastry tube."
Also at Lakewood Ranch is a Publix that looks like a leftover from the beginning of history, like the Pyramids of Giza. Materials play a part in the rooted look. Columns on the storefront are formed with manufactured stone made to look like ledge stone found in the mountain rock fences of Carolina. But their long, blocky shapes give the impression of brick. So what you have is Williamsburg in southern Manatee County.
Talk about a mad spree of deception.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Joan Altabe's column in the Bradenton Herald is a little acerbic this week: