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On one of the slides from our first visit to four corners country, there in a building. That was not why we took that shot; the intention was to photograph “Phone Booth Mesa” (more properly “Chimney Rock,” but every fifth outcrop in the Southwest seems to be called that!) on the way up from Shiprock to Cortez. Neither of us remembers seeing any buildings in the foreground of that view; but there it is: one standard, off-the-peg, industrially-produced Butler building with an air conditioner unit on it’s flatly pitched roof. It is finished in an inoffensive tan color, but that doesn’t make it any less outstandingly visible against the background of sagebrush. Why then does the eye of memory not see it? It must be that it is such a usual building in a landscape where only the exotic or the outrageous in architecture tends to look at home and be remembered.

Scenes in America Deserta-Reyner Banham 1982
Added to library