Nothing Becomes Them So Much As Their Leaving
35 years ago this THING was the most shocking piece of new architecture in the City of Charleston. For those who sipped the traditional tea of grace and beauty in the Holy City, this was a Jolt Cola. Some dropped dead on the spot at first sight of the new bank. There was widespread wringing of hands and much hell to pay in the matter. Actually, we grew to like this odd looking building over the years, but we're not sad to see the current tenant leave before their lease is up. Nothing becomes them so much as their leaving.
Bank of America is shutting down its Charleston Medical Center Branch at 281 Calhoun on the corner of Gadsden Street for good on Aug. 21. That leaves, but one location in the Charleston, SC, peninsula: 200 Meeting Street. It would require special planning to find a more inconvenient location which suggests that B of A must want more privacy from its annoying smaller customers. We'd suggest an unlisted phone number to maintain a proper level of contempt. How about "SORRY, WE'RE OPEN" on the door?
In 2004 B of A showed award winning contempt for our area by luring the Johnson and Wales culinary institution out of Charleston and up to Charlotte, NC. That move was expected to generate nearly $60 million in annual economic activity for Charlotte. It was also quite a threat to Charleston's restaurant and hospitality industry upon which we heavily depend for the tourist dollar. But, the heck with them as it's the building which interests us.
Perhaps the building grew on us because it was first occupied in 1974 by the old Bankers Trust. It was a nice bank staffed and run by nice people. No deposit was too small and no customer unworthy of their full attention. Perhaps the courtesy and accommodation which they showed all customers created such good will as to gradually soften the community's view of the building. If Frankenstein's monster had been a nice cheerful Rotary Club sort of fellow, he, too, would have grown on his community. It's all in how you treat people.
Frankly it reminded us more of a Department of Corrections gun tower than a bank, but we began to admire the place. We secretly wondered what it might be like to live there. It's very secure and perfect for the flood prone area in which it sits. There's adequate parking for entertaining and we'd have a built in carport for the Mustang. Deliveries would be assured since no one could possibly fail to find the place. It never needs painting and the vault is roach proof.
The best feature of this dramatic structure is that you would never have to worry about the place losing its good looks.