Day 251: Get lost in a library

May 12, 2011 § 1 Comment

As a child, I read a book from the 70’s called “Help! I’m a Prisoner in the Library.” In that book, two young sisters find themselves locked in a library overnight and end up finding out the building is haunted by banshees.

Well, my experience was not quite that traumatic. But it was close.

Observe the above picture, the Northwestern library. It may very well be the most confusing building in the world. Made of concrete and supposedly designed to resemble books being pulled from a shelf, it looks more like how I imagine it would appear if the Guggenheim had anal fissures.

Today I entered the building for only the second time, intent on grabbing a book by a famous journalist and ducking out in under 10 minutes. I was sucked into this black hole for 40 minutes.

I’ve provided a map to illustrate my route. The only entrance is that little lantern-shaped octagon on the far left. The library is composed of three separate towers which, strangely enough, are not accessible to each other on the first floor. You have to go up to a higher floor. I felt like I was in one of those awful Family Circus cartoons:

[By the way, if you detest this comic as much as I do, check out these captions written on Family Circus cartoons by writers of The Onion.]

Here’s a description of my route: Through the doors, down a flight of stairs, through a turnstile, down a flight of stairs, across the lobby, up an escalator, through a time portal, up a flight of stairs, lost, back to main lobby, great glass elevator sideways, ask for directions, up a flight of stairs, into hot air balloon, elevator to the third floor, across a slip-n-slide, through three long hallways and into the tower that had my book.

Oh, and the basement is like the catacombs from a horror movie. A colony of homeless people could be living in this building and Northwestern would be none the wiser. Modern art is cool and bizarre, but modern architecture is just irritating.


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