We all know that being in Architecture means creative, passionate, and highly imaginative people are working together to create the best solution to a design problem. But in honor of Halloween, I thought I might share some of the scarier parts to being in this profession. Whether it’s a difficult boss, a creepy old building, or just the antics of having a group of creative individuals working together, practicing Architecture definitely has a dark side!
The firm I work at does a lot of different kinds of projects ranging from new construction to remodels and once in a while we get a random hazard like water damage or a fire that requires an architect to come in and establish base floor plan drawings in order to help contractors get pricing for the repairs. One such project was particularly creepy. I, a female, went to an old apartment building after a fire that damaged quite a bit of the lower floor and some of the upper floor. The drywall was already removed and the thick black studs were all that remained. It was the middle of summer, so it was a very warm day and the heavy smoke smell immediately filled my lungs and stung my nose. The power had been shut off for safety reasons, and the windows were boarded up since the firemen had broken out the glass to get people out of the building. Now, I was told that everyone made it out ok, but I was sent to this building by myself to take measurements and create a floor plan. Alone. In the dark. With nothing but a work light and my cell phone flashlight app to let me see into the completely dark rooms. Yes, there were noises, but I assumed they were coming from outside the building, so I gathered my wits and got it done as fast as I could, taking pictures the whole time to ensure I didn’t have to come back! But… when I got back to the office and looked thru the pictures, there was one particularly disturbing image of a ghost in one of the windows! Needless to say I won’t be going there alone again!
Christy – Colorado Springs, CO
I had to field verify a vacant space in a bad part of town that was formerly a strip joint called the Jaguar Club. It had black carpet on the walls, dead animals in random corners, lights and exposed wiring hanging down from the ceiling. And there was a mattress sitting on top of some ceiling framing of a back room where it appears someone was living. That was creepy. That place had no windows, no power (no lights) and lots of small rooms and dark corners. All kinds of horrible images ran thru my mind with every step I took. Seemed like the kind of place where a young architect could have been murdered!
Dave – Indianapolis, IN
In the basement of our office there’s a storage room where we keep archived drawings. The building used to be an old furniture shop so there were some remnants from that time, but one day while archiving drawings we discovered a hidden crawl space. But, as soon as a light was turned on, we could see body parts. Lots of them. It was a mannequin Catacomb! And I’m pretty sure the building was haunted as well. I’d be working late at night by myself and hear the front door open – it had a very distinct sound. I would get up to see if my boss was coming in, but the door would be shut, locked, and NO ONE was there.
Jessica – Colorado Springs, CO
I was a young intern at a former office that was located right next to a fairly rowdy bar. My boss liked to go out with clients there and they’d come back to the office after a night of drinks. When I got to work in the morning I never knew what state the office might be in after the late night parties! One such morning I realized that I had left my computer on and didn’t log off. The office was actually quite clean, but I turned the power on to my 2 monitors, and I think I let out a yelp! This of course alerted my co-workers that something was up. And then I was truly horrified at trying to explain the “very office inappropriate” images of women and farm animals that were plastered across my computer! Luckily my co-workers just laughed it off!
Architecture definitely has its scary moments! What are some of yours?