Best Death Scene: The Morris A. Mechanic Theatre

Was it a brutalist masterpiece or an eyesore? As its demolition drew closer, a decade after it had stopped operating as a theater, half-obscured behind fencing, affection for the Mechanic started growing. And then, last fall, they started tearing it down. “For a while, the destruction was slow going, as if the building was fighting back,” photographer Matthew Carbone said. Then, in November, it really started to fall. Boy, wasn’t it just so damned beautiful. And not in a plastic-bag-in-the-wind way but affectingly gorgeous. The building’s bones, you could see, were good bones. By now it was winter, which made the Mechanic look like Mimi dying in “La Bohème,” and you if you saw a photograph on your Instagram feed, you wanted to walk down, and behold it, applaud it, bring it roses. (Carbone’s photographs of the Mechanic, before and after its fall, can be seen on architectmagazine.com.)

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