(Published in Pagosa Daily Post)
HMPRESENTLY: Creaking & Cracking
When you’ve lived in a place for a long time, you get to know the sounds your place makes. The cracking and creaking sounds in a wall, in the quiet of the night. Big office buildings, like houses, make distinctive sounds, too.
A 52-story building in downtown San Francisco, where I worked for many years, made creaking sounds when strong winds buffeted the building, or when earthquakes struck the city. The high-rise, known as Bank of America World headquarters, was designed to be somewhat flexible and resilient.
I got to know the sounds of the building, and, in a way, its character, feeling activity and energy going on inside. And places in the building where significant challenges were addressed, and decisions were made.
I can still picture, in my mind, where I was when I was being interviewed by reporters, in an office or the lobby, or outside, sometimes, with the building serving as a backdrop, as TV-news cameras rolled. Lots of memories. I knew that building.
When there was a merger in the late 1990s, an iconic skyscraper in Charlotte, North Carolina became the bank’s headquarters, and I got to know that building — renamed Bank of America Center — when I had meetings in Charlotte.
But, back to San Francisco. The California Street building is different now. Not the overall look of the building; that hasn’t changed. But like many commercial buildings, the interior design changes, as different business firms move in and out. And, over time, a building’s character might change, as well.
Sometimes, buildings change hands. Interestingly — since you might not associate President Trump with San Francisco real estate — he actually bought a 30 percent stake in the 555 California Street building, several years ago.
It’s funny how people, habitually, keep referring to buildings by their old names, even long after buildings change hands and are given new names. For a long time, newscasters were doing that… but they seldom, if ever, call it the Bank of America building now.
So, it was kind of curious, the other day, when — during his Town Hall gathering on NBC — the president mentioned having “all of these great properties all over the world,” according to Yahoo News, and then referring to one of the properties as “the Bank of America building in San Francisco…”
For some 22 years now, the building Mr. Trump’s invested in, has been neither the bank’s headquarters, nor the Bank of America building. Actually.