Thursday, February 02, 2006

Terry Block part two

Terry Block Building, downtown Bentonville, part two....First, the historical sign, and fantastic rear door. (The message is GO AWAY in case you couldn't figure that one out..)

So I went back on the square this evening, and I was just hanging around in the pretty light, watching all the vendors close up shop (it WAS 5:30, geez), thereby removing nearly 90% of the foot traffic from downtown. I was going to take some pictures of the front door of the Terry Block Building (read yesterday's post). as well as the inviting windows and lovely rear security door.

But just as I got there, lo and behold, a team of Associates (or vendors, it can be VERY hard to tell around here these days) walked up to the lovely Terry Block building for some sort of meeting. I'm guessing they were vendors as one of them was pulling a rolling suitcase that was probably full of some widgets to give as a humble offering to the almighty Yellow Smiley. "Please, Oh Yellow Price-Cutting One, hath thee not smitest us from the earth likest Huffy, Levi Strauss, or Rubbermaid, oh benevolent one!!!"

Anyway, I hate to use these guys as unwilling guinea pigs, but the following scene was just too hilarious to pass up.

So the group of fellas walks up to the front of the building. I mean, how could this not be the front of the building? It's got a giant front door facing the corner of the street. Conventional wisdom would HAVE to hold that this is the front door, right? What could be confusing about that?

"I mean, it opens like a front door, but wouldn't a front door have, like, some sort of sign? Something welcoming us? Something other than tinted windows to beckon us in to a friendly meeting with the friendliest global retailer of them all? Could we be going in the wrong way. Damn you, Conventional Wisdom!"

"Let me peer around this corner this way, surely the front door isn't amongst the heavily tinted windows on this side? And hey, what are we doing meeting Wal-Mart inside of a building with some architectural taste? Shouldn't we be in a frugal sheet metal building, devoid of character or taste?"

"Ok, it's not that way, it's gotta be this way, I mean, this is the only part of the building we haven't thoroughly examined for something as subtle as the FREAKING FRONT DOOR!"

"Well, there seems to this nice plastic sign telling us that we're at the Terry Building. Hey Joe, who's this Terry guy? Oh, I think he was some guy who designed this building without a front door. There appears to be some sort of security keypad here. Hey Vinnie Vendor, do you know the code to the keypad? This can't be the right way to get in. (sigh.......)"

After all that, they managed to find the front door, exactly where it should have been, on the front corner of the building. Amazing that the Wal-Mart folks could take a building with the most obvious front door on the square, and reduce these poor vendors from who-knows-where to bumbling idiots trying to figure out how to get in your beautiful building.

Ok. Once again. Here are three viable options: Soda Shop, downtown Wal-Mart express, or SELL the freaking building to someone with a clue who gives a damn about downtown Bentonville.

Which reminds me, in an ironic twist, I noticed today on their website that that the Wal-Mart Stores Foundation is a member of our very own Main Street Bentonville. I'm not sure if WM knew exactly what Main Street was when they signed up....

(conversation inside WM mothership) - "Wait, you mean 'Main Street' as in 'downtown?' Where we have that crummy old brick building that we don't use? You mean like small businesses thriving in a walkable environment where people live near their basic needs, with a variety of dining, entertainment, and shopping options, all within a few blocks of one another, easily accessible by car or foot?"

"Yeah, that's the one."

"Can we get our money back?"


More about the Terry Block building:
Wal-Mart and the Terry Block building
Beat that Dead Horse