Equitable, 730 17th Street, smack in the center of downtown.
Unlike some American architecture of this period (late 19th C.)
that inspired the Bauhaus designers and other modernists with
its no-nonsense lines, the Equitable is largely nonsense. Hoping
to be a solid authoritarian bank building at its base and a frilly
neo-RomanoRenaissance something or other above, the design teeters
between brands of fakery but somehow pulls it off.
lobby is garish yet impressive. Quite different, and better,
than the sizable-panel motif (marble, aluminum, stone, plexiglass
...) that dominates the lobbies of late 20th Century office buildings,
much of the Equitable's ground floor is meticulously tiled. The
upper floors have an elegant noir feel with burgundy tiled halls
and mood lighting -- perhaps the classiest hallways in the entire
downtown area and certainly the most likely to appear in any
movie involving flappers, grifters or Andy Garcia. The Equitable
is an old star that certainly deserves a look, if you're in the