Thursday, July 17, 2014

Building of the Month: The proposed Henry Hoff Commercial Plaza, Carey Street

Given the aviation kick I've been on this week I had been hoping to get a chance to photograph a new building out at the airport for July's Building of the Month, but that will have to wait for another time.

This set of photos has been the draft box since earlier this year, when I was walking around central Monrovia on an early Sunday morning. The city has a great number of proposed-building signboards at the moment, perhaps more than at any other time that I can recall. I post some others here as well, but this is probably the most ambitious of them all, not least given its height. It's not entirely clear what the scale is here, other than the presence of the cars at the bottom of the illustration, which looks to be a straight screen print off an aged, low-capacity version of AutoCAD.

The tower looks to be maybe three stories of parking, with maybe ten stories of offices that appear to rest on a level of thick, flaring columns which would cantilever  That would make the building within range of the tallest building in Liberia, which would be a remarkable development in and of itself, but the first time since the rise of the Ducor in 1959 that a commercial structure reached such a height.

It will be interesting to see first whether this project gets built, and then who occupies the offices: whether a UN Agency or NGO takes a chunk of space, whether a bank relocates its headquarters, or whether smaller private firms are able to absorb the square footage. Not sure what is going on at the crown of this building, but my guess would be either (a) another fancy rooftop restaurant or (b) an executive apartment.

If this building does rise, it will dramatically transform this tired, crumbling block of Carey Street, which thus far has remained a low-slung but dense block of concrete structures, and has yet to see the construction which has changed so many other parts of the city. As the signboard says, "Coming soon to the Carey !!!"

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