Monday, June 20, 2005

seems like karmic poetry to me

considering its glorious history, i'm not sure it would be all bad if the current lloyd's tower reverted to a coffeehouse. there may be more efficient ways to operate nowadays, even if you want to preserve the face-to-face business model.

in fact to have the lloyd's of london wacky po-mo industrial building house a coffeeshop would be really poetic, don't you think? they should put one in now -- but of course, it shouldn't be a mermaid!

i think anita and a.j. of monmouth could do a great job roasting coffee on-site, and edward bramah ("keeen-ya," ed, keen-ya! from now on, i promise!) could move some of his spare antique coffee brewers to a beautiful, properly set-up museum there.

"buildings are not idiosyncratic private institutions: they give public performances both to the user and the passerby," says the architect of the lloyd's building -- and in lloyd's case, its historic public performance was a coffeehouse where traders gathered to do business and exchange the latest market news.

in fact at one time all londoners, from street sweepers to lords, gathered in their coffeehouses to read newspapers, gossip about their contents, and have a cup of coffee. p. ackroyd in -- you guessed it -- his fantastic and enamored biography of london notes that the poorest citizens of london would even pool their meager resources to put together the farthings and pence it took to buy newspapers and coffee, which they shared among them.

in this spirit, i think it would be mind-blowing if lloyd's reclaimed its soul as a coffeehouse and reading center, albeit with a modern edge. . .to make it truly public and for security, it could be a separate street-level, open-glass space with extended business hours to bring more life to the historic london street. . .

posted by fortune | 10:24 AM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 0 comments

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