Saturday, December 27, 2008

Stupid Buildings

In the course of any given day, I’ll bet each and every one of us meets a person, sees something, or hears a story to which we respond, “Now, that’s stupid!”

There’s a building in Copiague, on Long Island, near Amityville, that I used to pass all the time while I was working a recent part time job. There was probably another building–or maybe an old gas station–on the corner where they built this building; at any rate, the land was cleared specifically for this building to be erected. That’s the important point I’m making here.

Now, I would imagine that some architect designed this building for the man or company who was paying for its construction. Do you think that the plans for a building are drawn up without consideration for the land it’s going to occupy? I mean, does someone design a building and then show it to the guy who’s paying for it, and then they look for a piece of land to put it on? I don’t think so.

I assume that someone bought the land, went to an architect, and told him what he wanted. The architect then designed a building with doors and windows, electric lines and plumbing, parking and... well, you know! Don’t you think they actually visited the site it was going to be built on?

The building in the following photos was designed with space for stores or offices on the ground floor, and additional office space on the upper floors. But one ground floor space, the one on the east end of the building, has its doorway at the far end of its wall facing the street. Directly in front of that doorway, standing tall where it’s been for many years, is a large utility pole near the curb. Because this pole has many heavy lines leading across the street, it needs a support cable and pole to keep it standing upright. The pole and cable are smack dab in front of the doorway of that new storefront.

Granted, there’s enough room for someone to open the door all the way, but if they walk more than two or three steps straight out the door they’re going to have quite a headache after they hit that support wire pole.

Do you think the architect visited the site before he planned that doorway there? I mean, it could have been positioned down at the left end of that storefront. It could even have been placed on the right side of the building–the storefront’s other outside wall–which would have made access from the parking lot easier.

Do you think the builder noticed this mistake and suggested that they move the door before completing construction? Even one of the construction workers should have said something. I doubt very much that the Long Island Power Authority is going to move the utility pole or the support cable and pole.

Well, it is what it is, but I’m thinking of going back with my camera after that store opens so I can photograph people using that door. Because that’s what I call stupid!

UPDATE: April, 2009
I recently drove by the above building and found that a wine & liquor store rented the space with that poorly placed door; they also rented the space on either side of that corner one. There is a sign on the "stupid" door advising patrons to use one of the other doors since the inside spaces are all linked together.

Smart move!

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