E. Carlson, 1997

The naming of this building after someone not yet dead has stirred its share of controversy in San Jose. Some are of the opinion that Mr. McEnery should have humbly pooh poohed the idea. Others maintain it gives unwarranted name recognition to one public official over others who do not have their own building.

The 125-foot abstract mural in porcelain tile was designed by Lin Utzon, a Danish artist. I am sure San Jose would have preferred using an American artist, but at this time no American artist is trained in large scale paint splotching or abstract random tile alignment. Besides, if you really want to be chi-chi, you need to go with some fancy-schmancy European. Robert V. Hawn suggests that a large shower-head be installed near the top of the facade. And perhaps a huge bar of soap on a rope.

The Metro, an insightful and humerous local newspaper, has good information about this building (some of which I stole) in an article they wrote about obnoxiously named buildings.

The red "leafs" remind one of the Canadian flag. Or something Canadian.

If you looked at this building from the side you would see that it is a facade. There is an awful lot of gray cement behind this sucker. Nevertheless, the building is growing on me, despite the monolithic slabs of gray. It could use a couple of trees or plants out front though.

A mural in the front lobby depicts a pensive Thomas McEnery observing a barefoot Frank Taylor walking through the Plaza de Cesar Chavez fountain.

The fountain and spheres are very nice - whenver I see them I want to go wading. It could use some ducks though - perhaps designed by Lin Utzon. Only he could provide the "duc juste.'

View from the front door, looking through the fountain to the
Civic Auditorium.

Back to Library