Thift Shop Goodness

Big Empty Boxes

Posted in 1 by Lisa Twillie on November 5, 2009

When a big box store closes its doors, what is left behind is a giant carcass of a building.  While, I admit for some of these empty stores, there will be churches that move in and make use of a few of these empty buildings. But what about the rest? How many businesses need that much space? Once the store goes out of business or moves to a bigger, “better” and newer location; the community is left is one GIANT eyesore.

empty circut city

On a deeper, more philosophic level, what does the architecture of the big box stores say about people living in the big box era? After all, these buildings are giant, windowless, concrete and metal structures. Nothing about an empty Circuit City is beautiful. Lets pretend that Target and Wal-mart built buildings resembled the Basilica San Marco in Venice. What if these stores were built to facilitate community and reflected the character and culture of the community it resides in.? How would this affect people on a personal level?basilica

How would that positively affect the psyche of entire communities? I argue that the current architecture (warehouses) emits the message that “we as a people do not deserve beauty for we are as temporary as the buildings we are surrounded by”.  That our lives are meaningless and un-unique, just like the cookie cutter big box stores.

I believe in the sense of well being and community created by well crafted buildings.  As humans we respond positively to beauty, just as we respond negatively to ugliness. I think we deserve beauty. Humans don’t deserve to be inundated by these big metal boxes littering our communities.


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