I have long doubted whether the McGuire was actually going to be torn down. The debacle just seemed too large to handle for my tiny mind. Really? An entire high rise being torn to bits by mechanical dinosaurs? No way is that going to actually happen in my comfortable reality.
As I was walking home from work yesterday I rounded the corner and saw the parking garage – well half of it. There’s something beautiful about the carnage of concrete and re-bar in disarray that the human eye just plain isn’t accustomed to seeing. It’s jarring to witness half a building torn from its’ foundation and being clawed away by mechanical hands the size of cars.
This isn’t the byproduct of a natural disaster, a terrorist, or some cataclysmic accident no one predicted. Rather, this destruction is the result of hasty greed, colossal engineering mistakes, shoddy workmanship, a lack of pride in a job well done. Money over mastery. Is the destruction of the McGuire a metaphor for the destruction of a culture of workmanship? Is this really a signal to an acceptance of diminished skills and increased returns? Are shipping containers truly our generation’s answer to marble edifices and craftsmanship?
The McGuire will be a distant memory in the minds of most Seattlites in a matter of years. However, the hubris of cultural apathy will more than likely still linger on and continue to evolve to a new level of fitness. A world of prefabrication, disposable buildings, cultural vapor.