The venerable architect Henry N. Cobb was featured in a Tuesday press release announcing his latest design, 700 West Broadway in San Diego. A not unhandsome structure, a cut well above the city's norm, but, unfortunately, it couldn't be left there.
According to the release, Cobb says he drew the inspiration for his 34-story tower from John Wellborn Root's 1891 masterpiece, the Monadnock Building, on which he speaks eloquently in a video featured on the project's impressively designed, if annoyingly scored, website. But what exactly ties these two together? Let's see: 700 West Broadway - squarish, glass and travertine, shallow blocky setbacks. The Monadnock - plain brick bearing walls, simple yet seamlessly plastic concave profile. Oh, wait - here's the link: that cute retro hat slapped onto 700 West Broadway's roofline like a bad toupee.
I can't help but be reminded of the pairing between another work of art and its supposed inspiration: