Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Architect Gone Wild

CORONADO, Calif. (AP) -- The Navy will spend as much as $600,000 to modify a 40-year-old barracks complex that resembles a swastika from the air, a gaffe that went largely unnoticed before satellite images became easily accessible on the Internet.
- Associated Press - September 26, 2007

John Mock, the architect who designed the complex in the 1960s, claims the buildings in question are not actually connected and therefore do not form a swastika. However, Mr. Mock’s personal diary from that era recently surfaced, the following excerpts from which cast doubt on his claim:

July 6. 1968
Great fun today. That Navy complex I designed officially opened last month and the clowns still haven’t figured out what it looks like from above. Sent them a note yesterday from "A. Hitler, Asuncion, Paraguay" saying: "Thanks for the unexpected honor. Long live the Third Reich." Two admirals and a Navy undersecretary have already called me today in a flap asking if I knew what this was all about. Feigned surprise, ignorance and shock. Checked local commercial flight paths and was disappointed to find no airline flies over that complex. Oh well, hopefully I’ll have better luck on my next project.

March 14, 1969
Designed mansion for well-known, pompous Hollywood director and construction almost completed. Can’t believe he hasn’t spotted my latest trick. Rectangular house has straight driveway leading from front door that intersects outer, semi-circular roadway with a brief right-angled cul-de-sac at its lower terminus. From the air, it clearly looks like a Soviet hammer and sickle but no one has cottoned on to this yet. Final payment check should clear tomorrow at which time I’ll slip the aerial photos I took last week under his office door. Wish I could see the look on his face. Good luck getting work in Hollywood after that, Mr. Bigshot Director!

September 14, 1970
Concrete footings poured today for right-wing industrialist’s new home in Malibu. Noted anti-Semite has no clue that his new digs look like a Star of David from the air. He was getting suspicious the other day until I told him that I based the design of the house on the Pentagon since I knew he was such an American patriot. Seemed to mollify him although I won’t take any chances until he’s moved in. Although once he sees an aerial photo, he may never move in!

April 20, 1971
For Chris sakes, it’s a cross! Any idiot can see that. Or at least so I thought when they asked me to design a new mosque just outside San Diego. I was sure they’d figure this one out before we broke ground on the construction site. But everyone was so enamoured of my design that no one spotted the obvious. If construction goes as planned, I hope to send them a Happy Easter card next April with an aerial photo inside. An anonymous card, needless to say!

October 1, 1972
Some big insurance company hired me to design their new headquarters. Never been a big fan of insurance companies. Maybe I’m being too bold on this one but I couldn’t help myself. Rather than stick with a funny aerial design, I figured I’d try having some fun with the ground level view. It’s a contiguous, four-tower complex with the second tower twice the height of the first and third towers and the fourth tower slightly shorter. Imagine; a 62-storey middle finger. Take that you insurance weasels!

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