03 October 2006

The Lykes Building

A brief homage to the Lykes Building.

Also known as Park Tower, this building was built in 1973, the second major skyscraper built in Tampa in the 1970s-1980s building boom and the tallest in town until 1981. Very few people really like it. The interior is a bit outmoded. The building is not full.

But it's part of my view, or has been since I moved in. After the Lightning won the Stanley Cup, the building tenants made a lightning bolt every night by leaving some lights on and others off. I thought it was pretty cool.

I've always enjoyed watching the sun move across the building. Over the course of about two hours in the midmorning, the sun slowly brings the white ribs on the building into view, marching in a slow procession up the side until all six ribs are fully visible. It isn't the sort of thing you stare at, just the sort of thing you notice occasionally and smile. I like things like that.

I've seen the last of the Lykes Building. Skypoint, a shiny new condominium, has gone up three blocks north of Lykes, and although Skypoint is not as tall as Lykes, the relative proximity of it to my porch means it blocks my view of the older building. I recently saw new pictures from my porch, and indeed the only visible bit of Lykes is concrete cap on top.

Well. Views change. I just wanted to say goodbye.


Addison said...

God knows how much longer it will be the Lykes building now that Lykes lines has been bought out by Hapag-Lloyd. I had a friend who did equipment control for them, she's no longer employed there since the merger.

Smitty said...

"Hapag-Lloyd" won't look as good on the top of that building. Of course, next to the hideous red "Sykes" on the beer can/cheese grater/heat pump next door, I'm not sure it could really be that bad.