AMID ALL THE BUILDINGS—most of them mammoth brick structures—that I observed in a one-block walk-around in downtown Fargo, I never expected this one:
The rectangles of tangerine orange bursting in brilliant shades next to monotone gray walls set against the complementary soft blue of a summer afternoon sky caused me to pause, mouth agape.
Would you expect this in Fargo? Maybe along an ocean beachfront in Florida or California. But North Dakota?
That just goes to show that any preconceived notions of what buildings belong where can be proven wrong when you happen upon an architectural anomaly like this structure housing 8th Street Lofts.
Honestly, in the bone-chilling cold of a sub-zero, wind-flogging January morning, wouldn’t this cheery color cause you to smile? It would me.
The jolting orange shades remind me of the multi-colored buildings photographed by my second daughter in the La Boca barrio of Buenos Aires, Argentina. That rough, working class neighborhood along the banks of the Riachuelo River draws tourists to view the colorful houses built by the early Italian immigrants from cast-off ship building materials—planks, sheet metal and such—and then, as legend goes, painted with left-over paint.
I expect when my daughter saw those jolts-of-color buildings, she, too, stopped, mouth agape.
She failed to tell me, though, that the La Boca neighborhood is a rather dangerous place, especially at night. That figures given street criminals are drawn to tourists.
I wouldn’t expect the same in Fargo.
© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling