A recent WBEZ story highlighted the country’s first juvenile institution in Chicago. Here is the front of the building:
As soon as I saw this image, it reminded me of something I had seen on a tour years ago of the Warner Brothers backlot. Here is what I saw:
These buildings are not the same. But, their spirit is similar. They sit at an oddly-angled corner that gives the front entrance of the building a unique look. There are columns or pillars at the front. The buildings have a similar shape and set of materials even though they are slightly different. The backlot building has a subway entrance (from New York?) in front.
My experience with these structures hints at two larger processes at work:
- My memory is not quite perfect yet it is grouping similar buildings together. How many buildings in major American cities have this kind of look on this kind of corner?
- Linking to some of my research, how much do television and film depictions of place interact with our corporeal understandings of places? I can see a building on a screen, experience that same place or a similar place, and our brain and understandings then interact. Or, perhaps we may only know of a place through screen depictions and this backlot building in various forms stands in for all sorts of real settings.
I will keep looking for the Warner Brothers building on screen and continue to think through what it means for my understanding of Chicago, New York, and other places.