I came across this line of commentary by Robert Ivy in Architectural Record: “Like starlight, they shed heat and light separated from us by time and space”.

He was referring to skyscrapers that were conceived during the height of property euphoria, only to be completed during an economic downturn. Just look at this skyscraper index developed by Andrew Lawrence:

I like his analogy. To see the imprint or representation of what used to be there, even though that has since disappeared into another time and space altogether. Which is what people stare through when they look up at the symbol of excesses and see only emptiness.

A man in 1889 painted one of his greatest work in an asylum room. It was a scene of a starry night. It was painted from his memory of what the sky would have looked like.

Was that a skyscraper that Vincent saw in his mind that night too?

Starry, starry night,
Paint your palette blue and grey,
Look out on a summer’s day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul.

– Don Mclean






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