Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Doomed Mid-Century Modern
This little bat-winged building stands in West Allis, on Greenfield at 61st Street. It faces a simpler building across a parking lot. Both are fenced off; the second building appears to have undergone abatement (removal of asbestos and other hazardous materials.) Abatement's the harbinger of either renovation or demolition. Given the vintage, I'm betting on the latter.
It's a shame. The bat-wing building is particularly nice, with two clusters of multi-height hanging lamps at the apex of its pyramidal roofs, overhangs lined with downward-aiming can lights, and a stepped roof unlike anything I've ever seen. Like the similarly-conceived Mark Twain Cinema in St. Louis, I'm sure it looked impressive when lit up at night.
The sign -- another interesting period piece -- announces it as the St. Ann's Village Center, offering bingo, but the VV logo points to a previous name along the lines of Value Village. The second building was most recently a sales center for bathtubs and whirlpools.
And so another bit of our Mid-Century heritage passes away. In twenty years, they're gonna wonder why we didn't save any of this stuff.