It’s an extravagantly ugly gesture, one only the rich can afford.
I was wrong again. The de Young’s design is functional and purposeful. It reflects the one clear lesson learned in Vietnam—the need for adequate helipads.
The U.S. embassy in Saigon apparently had only one place for a helicopter to land and pick up ugly Americans and their Vietnamese collaborators. Forget the hundreds of thousands of deaths—people die in wars —but this scene was plain undignified.
The de Young is designed like a goddamn helicopter carrier.
The tower is the superstructure, the roof is an enormous flight deck.
So, when the homeless rabble of Golden Gate Park, demanding canapés and good champagne, surround the de Young during an after-hours charity party for the rich (it’s a party venue, not an art museum), the socialites can call in multiple helicopters, all at once, to swiftly rescue them.
Despair, park rabble, you have been out-thunk.