Friday, April 17, 2009

J David Gladstone Institute

Yesterday the Secretary of the Interior and I happened to visit UCSF Mission Bay campus together. I went merely for the parking lot, not the picketers standing on the streets with signs to be photographed by the TV trucks. I picked my way through the circus and crossed the street without much notice from the cops, probably because in my business attire I didn't look like I would be joining them. I walked into the lobby of the Gladstone institute and literally gasped with delight. It was one of the most beautiful lobbies I have ever seen, and I do a LOT of lobbies. The wall facing me was 3 stories of thin, very large onyx tile (wonder how many of those were broken during construction). The tiles were backlit, the golden stone glowed. There were names in big letters at about the 2nd story level - James Watson, all the other biochemists I studied when I was in graduate school, the ones who wrote the review articles that explained everything I needed to know. Oh, LOOK, there is Stan Cohen's name up there, the guy on my Ph.D. committee. Wow.

Gladstone, the real estate magnate who founded the research institute, must have earmarked special funds for archetect fees. This place is truly amazing. The labs were a little quirky, not big rectangular labs but all angles, but the building is truly special. Too bad I could only find this crummy little photo with 3 VIPs obstructing the view. If you ever go to see the SF Giants, it is worth a drive by to see the art on the outside of the building

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