Reflections on a Famous Building


So, I am not usually given to sentimental ramblings…  Okay, maybe about my children and I guess I am guilty of sending the occasional 'I really appreciate you' letter to a good friend or someone I really admire.  But for the past several months I have been leaving work, driving East on the freeway, and thanks to the Marquette Interchange construction, I started getting off at the lakefront exit.  Then I drive down Lincoln Memorial Drive and pass the Calatrava addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum .  

When it was built, I could take or leave it.  Frankly, I didn't see what the fuss was about- yeah, it was a pretty neat concept but it just seemed gimmicky.  And it made my life slightly more difficult trying to raise funds for a nonprofit organization that year- all the big hitters were giving huge chunks of money to the art museum.

Since I've been driving past it daily, though, I have really converted.  There is something about seeing this building every day and appreciating the white 'wings' contrasting with the different colors of the blue sky that almost makes me want to write poetry.  I say 'almost' there because I truly believe deep in my soul that most people should, under no circumstances, write a poem.  Perhaps the occasional limerick or haiku, but other than that… 

But I have really felt transformed by this building.  It's interesting.  I can be having a crap day and then I drive by, inevitably have to stop at the light across the street from it, and it makes me take a moment to breathe.  Some days it looks like a ship, other days more like a bird.  Clouds sometimes seem caught in it's wires.  Dillon calls it the 'flying ship'.  He likes it too.  Tonight we drove by it twice on our way to a friend's house for dinner.  

When we were coming back on 794 over the Hone Bridge at night, I told D we were going to see my favorite view of Milwaukee.  Unfortunately, I told him we were going to see it about five minutes before we were there, so he kept saying, "is this your favorite view, mom?  Is this your favorite view, mom?  Mom, is this your favorite view?  Right now?  Right NOW?"  Finally, we were there, and he said, "This is my favorite view too, mom, it is BEAUTIFUL!"  

And it made staying out late on a school night totally worth it.  (Though we'll see how things go tomorrow morning.) 

Here are some interesting photos of the Hone Bridge and Calatrava on some guy's flickr site.

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