Thursday, November 26, 2009

As I was saying to Ben Affleck.....

Those of you who know me will wonder that I, who always describe myself as "popular culture challenged" will bring up such a person as Ben Affleck. Ahhh! but fate plays all sorts of little games with us.

I give you photograph of a building in Boston's North End, and also a drawing of mine. In 2000 a client of long standing asked me to design a facade for this building he had just purchased. I don't talk about my design work very often in this blog, but this particular project is perhaps the best illustration of it. I have a very particular knowledge of classical detail. It is seldom that I have the opportunity to exercise that knowledge and work to my full potential. To do so requires a very intelligent and patient client and unfortunately that species of client is rather rare. The gentleman I refer to here is one of those and I have had a long and rewarding association with him.

When we started there was only stucco and aluminum and plate glass on the first two stories. You see what we did. Everything below the second floor cornice is new. The cast stone was fabricated in Nebraska and the mill work was done in Rochester NY. I designed the facade and worked with a local architect to execute the design and supervise the construction. It took years- the patient client was very committed- and it won the 2004 design award from the Cast Stone Institute of America.

So what are those plastic covered signs above the first floor windows all about? They were a surprise to me on a recent trip to visit my client. It turns out that the building has a new distinction. It is the "bank" that Ben Affleck robs in the movie "The Town" which was filmed here recently. Here is a link to a picture of him standing, rather heavily armed, in front of my windows. And a good thing too that they choose this building, because part of the design problem was to make the windows sound proof. We were thinking about fire engines at the time, not machine guns. Mon dieu!

I started designing buildings in 1974. I have a small but very faithful group of clients, but except for one book and the odd magazine article I have never received any public notice- until now. So watch the big screen in 2010!

Unfortunately no one has offered me any residuals... always the bridesmaid... as a friend of mine likes to say!


1 comment:

Carolyn Roosevelt said...

Cheers indeed--that is super cool (and was, well before the movie people showed up.) And hurray for soundproofing.