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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 19, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 32 THl IETHBRIDGF HERALD Thursday. April 17, i9, The new Transamerica tower is taller than a pizza parlor, anyway By MURRAY OLDERMAN SAN FRANCISCO (NEA) Every time Al Sanchez wal by it, he'll look up to where the needle point tips into the sky, 853 feet above the side- walk of Montgomery Street, and say to anybody who's with him: "This is the build- ing that I built." Proudly. The building is the Trans- america pyramid which in the last year has intruded sharply on the San Francisco skyline, a startling addition to the skyscraper lore of Am- erica. Identification It was built to give identi- fication to a con- glomerate which was suffer- ing the anonymity blues. pizza com- plained John Beckett, Trans- america board chairman, "are better And Al Sanchez, who is an engineering co-ordaiator, got recognition of a kind, too. Al was there right from the start three years ago when 70 trucks in constant relay cart- ed concrete through the city's financial district to pour into the huge, block-wide slab from which the pyramid would rise. "I he says, "a lot of concrete and gravel spilling from the trucks out in the streets, and we were hosing it down." He also remsmbers the pec- uliar feeling as the pyramid started to rise: "We thought the corners would meet be- fore it got to the top." (The Egyptian pyramids, at 450 feet, are only half as tall.) Finally, he remembers the prodding by his neighbors across the bay in Alameda, from where he has commut- ed for more than 700 days, from 6 a m., to 7 p.m. Ego trip of my he sajs, ''are the slightly radical type who hate high-rises. They frown on how I make a living. I know it was con- troversial, but I could see these people slowly shifting over. in love with this place. It's an ego trip. Somebody needed me to build this build- ing. We all feel that we built it. We like to identify something different at least once in a lifetime. This is it 'e-s-t.' Highest, biggest, you name it." It is different, all right, a vertical spearhead among the drabber monoliths jutting above the bay of San Fran- cisco, the jagged tooth in the bunch and yet slickly, clean- ly white and strangely un- obstrusive in its prominence. Leonard Rodrigues meas- ures its popularity by the number of hard hats with Transamerica decals which were heisted on the job. "We went thriugh 500 of he said. "Everybody was cop- ping them." Rodrigues is the concrete icrm detailer who saw the first shovel scoop out the first load of foundation dirt in December, 1969. Since then, hs has supervised the use of board feet of framing lumber and sheets of 4- by-8 foot plywood just for concrete forms. "I'm probably more famil- iar with the job than anyone who's ever worked he says, "because I know where all the concrete went. This building, it's hell for stout. The amount of steel in it it is BIG." Construction is in the final stages, finishing off the top floors. It goes to 48, after which there is a 212-foot, aluminum-encased spire with a red nose at the tip to warn off stray aircraft. The spire will be inaccessible to the public. But with hard hat and sturdy climbing legs, a visit- or can glimpse from up close that last thrust of interlaced white steel to a juncture in the sky. No jumps Transamerica, which start- ed out as a bank holding com- pany, cut away to insurance and then branched out to ac- quire such diversified opera- tions as an airline, a movie company (United Artists) and an auto rental business (Bud- get will occupy one third of the building, which has a majestic view of the entire bay. Nobody's going to jump off it. "You'll have to commit sui- said a local wit. There'll be no window washers clinging to i's side. Its windows pivot out for ac- cessibility. Tenants closer to the top massage their vanity by oc- cupying an entire floor. The 48th, which will be used as a corporate vip room, mea- sures only 45 by 45 feet. Two windows p r o t r u sions, looking like wings to- ward the top of the pyramid, l.ouss elevators on one side and a smoke tower on the other side. Architectural buffs note that the coo'ing towers for the air condition- ing aren't on the roof there isn't one but in two decora- tive cylindrical forms im- planted in the sidewalk at street level. Tree park A half-acre plot next to the building is being transformed inlo a redwood park. One hundred cf the trees have been growing in a nursery for the last two ysars. A traditional vertical slab of a building might have made more sense economical- ly. For its mll'ion, how- ever, Transamerica Corpora- tion got notoriety. At least as much as a pizza parlor. (Newspaper Enterprise Assn.) oears Come along to our Garden Shop, find the most exciting choice of beautiful S3.99 up Go Green this Year! Evergreens add interest to your home's entrance Evergreens hide ugfy pipes and utilities Low of max. size 598 Sabina Mugho feer 4' wide 2' high 698 For Only Pf itezr Aurea Thuya Wabeana Thuya feet 10 ft. high opprox 6 high Suggested planting to emphasize a w 798 eoch Colorado Spruce Mugho 24" Jo 30" Approx. 30' high 2 ft. hiqh SATURDAY A.M. OPENING SPECIAL RICH POTTED EVERGREENS Specioi Du-c'i3--e ci petted cvcrqrerns ;n sizes easy get growing. The weather is good for a fost s'ort. T'lese polled oio-'H ore cos'ly moved la experiment the best orrongemenf before ploniirg. C from AuOrolion Pme, Scotch Pine or Triuyo PyromaidoUs. Priced of only 4.99 arc Thuya Wareno and the Junipers Your Choice Moyrt from 030 S 90 om 900 p.m. Village Mali, 328-9231. Good writers need to read By SID TAFLER MONTREAL (CP) The one important thing that an inspiring writer must do is read books, says Clark Blaise, author of A North American Education, a book of 10 short stories set mainly in Mont- real. "I have never known a writer who has not been a constant reader. It's the only important tbe 32- year-old author said in an in- terview. "It's Just like the really good film directors who saw three or four films a day when they were kids. "It's not that you're learn- ing directly from each book, but absorbing timing and pac- ing, getting to know when to gather power and force, wben to pause." Mr. Blaise, born in Fargo, i N.D., and raised in the south- ern United States by Canadian parents, did not decide to be a writer until the age of 21. His parents--an English-Ca- nadian mother from rural Manitoba and a French-Cana- dian father from rural Quebec divorced while he was attending university in Ohio, and Mr. Blaise decided to drop out of school. "One day I woke up and I just couldn't go to class." He had a long, soul-search- ing discussion with a close friend and then packed some books in a briefcase and went to Florida where he got a job as a busboy in an ocean-front hotel. For the next few years, be travelled around the U.S., working at jobs and spending most of his free time reading. "I read a book a day for five or six years. "When I returned to univer- sity a few years later to study English, there wasn't a book on the required reading list I hadn't already At the age of 26 he moved to Montreal to teach English literature and creative writing at Sir George Williams I'-ni- vcrsity. Ker becoming a Ca- nadian ciiircn. The stories in A North American Education arc based loosely on his experi- ences hero as a universily a teacher nf Eng- 1o and "There i? a sense of real being larger than any cf the characters in the book.'' Mr. Blaise said. "In fact, the cfly is the hero of the book." Mr. Blaise says Canadian novels can be identified "by their tcxtarc. the author's sense of derail and observa- tion "I n Canadian literature, Ihcrc is a great scree of the palpability of the society." Hcwcrv'T. Mr. Blaiiso said be feels Canadians arc losinp tbe ball If for cultural Curv5va1. "The only way Canada can survive culturally is to be Jerenl. In 1bc individual sense we may be crowing more and more Canadian. But the politi- cal and economiic structures, the policy-Tiafcing institutions in Canada and Ibe U.S., are growing After laving in about and cities in tte U.S. and In several communities in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, On- tario and Quebec, he says the North American experience is "insular and regional." Among his future projects are two additional books of short stories and a series of documentaries based on a planned year-long stay in Cal- cutta and co-written by his wife, Indian novelist Bbarati Mukherjee. META- SYSTQX-R insecticide When late-appearing or migrating aphids move into your potato fields, give them a smack in their suckers do Quick cleanup iled sap stream Jhrcugh leaves Systemic artr.iiy provides longer control Contois aphids resistant to cbtarinaJed hydrocarbon msectodes For economical, effective control of aphids, spray with META-SYSTOX-R Spray Concentrate. Order from your supplier now. WWf Jo you end nature. CHEWIAGRO LIMITED 77 Crly Centre Drive Oniano ;