the Pacific Bell Building

at Kearny on Pine.

What do you get when you cross an Oreo cookie with a refrigerator?

The Pacific Bell Building is one of the most unfriendly, imposing, and yet somehow stylish buildings in San Francisco.

It is an interesting building in that it was designed to embody the concept of a utility.

Doesn't this look like the back of a refrigerator?

A person could read the front of it like a small set of heiroglyphics.

Employee entrance on the left.

And some phone booths for the public on the right.

Above the phone booths, impenetrable technology. Stuck there perhaps to emphasize the utility of the building, or maybe as a reminder that most of us have, at best, only a slippery concept of the kind of technology involved when we pick up the phone. Audio information encoded into packets, mixed, and pumped through the country over wire, wavelength, and laser-driven fiber optics.

The Pac Bell Building doesn't seem to mind being unfriendly.

That's its element.


Everything copyright, 2000 Dave Benz

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