By Carter B. Horsley
One of the boldest conversions in the city
is The Porter House, a relatively small expansion of an industrial
building to condominium apartments. It was a very significant
development for it not only paid scant respect to the once-popular
Post-Modern trend of trying to be traditional and "contextual,"
but it also, and more importantly, broke new ground in its very
unusual fašade lighting.
The base of the building is a yellow-brick
Renaissance Revival warehouse structure that was originally erected
in 1905 for Julius Wile, the wine importers.
The developer of the project took the general
size and form of the existing building and duplicated it above
the existing building but shifted the new mass a bit to the east
Furthermore, the "top" box is covered
with a dark zinc fašade that is decidedly different from
the yellow-brick base.
It is at night, however, that the differences
became electrifying, literally.
The "top" box has vertical lighting elements most of
which are as large as some of its windows and they become very
visible beacons. The lighting elements and the windows appear
almost randomly placed and almost read as many lines of barcode.
What we have here is a lightmark!
View from the south
The building was designed by Gregg Pasquarelli
of ShoP/Sharples Holden Pasquarelli and Jeffrey M. Brown was the