Monday, March 12, 2012

Copy-Cat Architecture

Waaaaay north of Dallas on Interstate Highway 35, just inside the Oklahoma border, is the first of several Native American casinos, The Winstar.  Presently, this is under construction.  A new parking garage is being added... and given facades.  Facades "borrowed" from famous buildings.

Okay, loosely "borrowed."

Winstar Casino parking garage - photos gifted to public domain

You can see the loony quality of these borrowings pasted onto a garage from the photo (see the ramp through the Parthenon's columns?), but it takes miles of empty north Texas and Oklahoma to give this architectural collage its complete shock value.  

Here's a loose version of Venice's Doge's Palace.

Interesting to see how far from the original a copy can vary and yet, driving by at 70 miles an hours, make you still say, "Look! The Doge's Palace!"

Or "The Houses of Parliament!"

"The Colosseum!" Or, my favorite, the Guggenheim.  Frank Lloyd Wright would absolutely blow a gasket.

I'm wondering about the symbolism of using these mostly European landmarks (there is a crazy Asian building or two) to decorate this casino in Oklahoma owned by the Chickasaw Nation.

There is a joke: now that the country's population is shifting to the coasts and away from the central farmlands, emptying the Great plains of the descendants of the European settlers that took it from the local tribes, that to get their country back the native Americans only need to wait.  

Maybe the Chickasaws figure they're hurrying that re-possession one poker chip at a time.  Is this jokey building a broad hint? 

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