Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001
Subject: Re: ON RECEIVING NEWS OF THE WAR [the architect of The Towers:
Minoru Yamasaki]

--- Geoffrey Gatza <ggatza@DAEMEN.EDU> wrote:
> today considering the unusual weather in Buffalo.
Today as Peter Jennings reports the sun shone as ice
hailed down.
Dear Geoffrey, Charles Bernstein, spirit of Isaac Rosenberg (d.

That frosty I Ching hexagram-like meterology report is
a reminder that this godgiven List is, yes, it is a
Buffalo List (space-time can become so cyber, so Paul
) . . .

For you hinterland Buffalo-ans, blowing on your
knuckles ("Tom's a-cold"):

Is it common knowledge among your good citizens there
that the MANUFACTURERS & TRADERS CO. building (1967)
in your fair city

was designed by the architect Minoru Yamasaki, the
architect of the Twin Towers

(one of the forty-eight Danaïd-like sisters of our
lost gemini)?

I wonder if the Manufacturers & Traders building looks
nice. I haven't been able to find any photos of her.

While "taking a break" from architecture and
convalescing from stomach ulcers in '54, Yamasaki, a
Nesei (second-generation Japanese) went to Japan to
study the concept of TOKONOMA,

"an alcove that is the spiritual and artistic focus of
a Japanese home . . . often used to display hanging
scrolls, flowers and objects d'art" (Baulch, Vivian
M., The Detroit News [date?]). "On his return home
Yamasaki built his own tokonoma in his living room
devoted to small Japanese dolls and a small vase."

He was someone who had faced disappointment and the
undoing of one of his artworks during his lifetime.
"His Pruitt-Igoe Housing project, built in St. Louis
in 1955, gained notoriety after officials dynamited it
20 years later as a failure" (Baulch).

I wish I were good at traveling, so I could go about
as on a pilgrimage from Yamasaki to Yamasaki, keeping
a Basho-like journal of the voyages, prose portions
followed by haikus. And now would be The Perfect
Time, with low, low airfare prices that would have
been affordable--- even to Minoru during his youth!
when he put himself through the University of
Washington by working summers at salmon canneries in
Alaska for 17 cents an hour.

It might be gratifying and comforting in some way, to
see Minoru's other works of the imagination, to go
inside them, . . . like being enwombed in the external
manifestations of a man's mind.

Since so many of you dears live scattered
geographically throughout these fifty glorious States,
and throughout "the world" (Sweden),--- here's a
partial list of Minoru's buildings, below. Perhaps
you rugged types in your $155.00 Timberland Classic
Premium Waterproof 8" Boots would have no trouble
traveling about

(unlike an old lady who wears her stockings rolled
down about her shins, supporting herself in her
plodding water-around-the-ankles pace by leaning on a
wheelie pushcart to go out shopping for Pop Tarts at
2:43 in the morning, or a crumb bun)

and would enjoy visiting one of these habitable
sculptures (in the spirit of Gaston Bachelard's book,
The Poetics of Space), maybe then lovingly
back-channeling/bare-backing me/the List about
standing face-to-face or going inside the remaining
three-dimensionalities of Minoru's imagination.

Apologies for getting off-topic (poetry) by posting on
another artistic medium (architecture), but those
Muses, too, were sisters. Bon voyage!



A partial list:

Urban Redevelopment Plan, St. Louis, 1952
Gratiot Urban Redevelopment Project, Detroit, 1954
University School, Grosse Pointe, 1954
U.S. Consulate, Kobe, Japan, 1955
Pruit-Igoe Public Housing, St. Louis, 1955
Lambert-St.Louis Airport Terminal, 1956
McGregor Memorial Conference Center, Wayne State
University, Detroit, 1958
Reynolds Metals Regional Sales Office, Southfield, 1959
Michigan Consolidated Gas Co., Detroit, 1963
U.S. Pavilion, World Agricultural Fair, New Delhi, India, 1959
Dhahran Air Terminal, Dhahran Saudi Arabia, 1961
Federal Science Pavilion, Seattle World's Fair, 1962
Queen Emma Gardens, Honolulu, 1964
North Shore Congregation Israel, Glenco, Ill., 1964
Northwestern National Life Insurance Co., Minneapolis, 1964
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, 1965
Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles, 1966
IBM Office Building, Seattle, 1964
Manufacturers and Traders Trust Co., Buffalo, 1967
World Trade Center, New York, 1976
Eastern Airlines Terminal, Logan International Airport, Boston, 1969
Horace Mann Educators Insurance Co., Springfield, Ill., 1979
Temple Beth El, Birmingham, 1974
Century Plaza Towers, Los Angeles, 1975
Colorado National Bank, Denver, 1974
Bank of Oklahoma, Tulsa, 1977
Performing Arts Center, Tulsa, 1976
Rainer Bank Tower, Seattle, 1977
Federal Reserve Bank, Richmond, Va., 1978
Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency Head Office, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 1981
ounder's Hall, Shinji Shumeikai, Shiga Prefecture, Japan, 1982
Eastern Province International Airport, Saudi Arabia, 1985


"... 01100100011101010110110101100010 ..."

-- Pom2 (Brooklyn, NY, volume # 1 issue # 1), p. 70