A marvel of Brutalism by some, a monstrosity by others. An awesome building, in a brutal sort of way, by me. Vertical. Massive. Minimal. Windowless. It looks the same from every angle. It looks like a CGI fortress.
Not surprisingly, it was featured in Mr. Robot Season 2 plot. Even less surprisingly, it became the subject of an investigation by The Intercept, where the idea that parts of the building may used as an NSA surveillance hub was explored. Sounds plausible but we will probably never know for sure.
What we do know is that it was built for the AT&T Long Lines to house switching equipment. Although AT&T has now moved some of it to another building nearby, the monolith is still in use for telephone switching, but also as a highly secured data centre facility.
What I would like to know, is how does it feel to spend one’s working days in a windowless, fortified environment among cables and servers, with zero access to natural light? It takes a certain type of person, doesn’t it?
Adding to the layers of mystery, the AT&T building has also been the subject of a short film by Field of Vision, “Project X“. Interestingly, it was narrated by Rami Malek (of Mr. Robot) and Michelle Williams.
January 29th, 2017