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Bank America Services (Best Corporation Headquarters)
Best Corporation began in 1957, evolving from a family mail-order merchandising business. The company, run by Sydney and Frances Lewis, major patrons of the arts, commissioned several highly unusual showroom facades from James Wines and Robert Venturi. In 1981, with 100 showrooms and annual sales of more than $1 billion, the company moved its corporate headquarters from Ashland, in Hanover County, to this new building, designed in a postmodern style unexpected in a corporate headquarters. The building won an American Institute of Architects Honor Award for architectural excellence.
The primary facade is an aquamarine wall that sweeps in a broad curve across a site visible from Parham Road. It is composed of glass block with cut-stone molded trim lines. The glass block is a legacy of Art Deco and Moderne architectural detailing of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, while the cut stone is perhaps a reference to the classical detailing often employed for federal government and bank buildings. A pool fronts the facade like a moat, and for artistic purposes, it reflects a wavering light across the glass brick. The entrance is formally introduced by two large sculptures of stone eagles topped by lanterns rescued from the demolition of New York City's old East Side Airlines Building (1939–1940), which stood opposite Grand Central Terminal. At their original site, the eagles perched on the roof of the terminal,
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