Babylon in Hollywood (Nineveh, Volume 32, Numbers 2-4)
By: Tamara Odisho Benjamin (Nineveh 2nd to 4th Quarter 2009)
Publish Date: 10/19/2009
With the recent opening of the Babylon Ruins in Babylon, Iraq, it's difficult for those of us who haven’t seen it to wrap our mind around what it must look like. Let alone the feelings or emotions it must conjure knowing that our ancestors are responsible for its existence. Sure there are many times someone describes something so vividly we can imagine it, but a structure of its stature is difficult. The New York Times published an article of the landmark's opening and the controversy surrounding the ruins to be used as a hotel and a public space (Babylon Ruins Reopen in Iraq, to Controversy May 2, 2009). The article had only one photo so there was a lot left to the imagination as to what it currently looks like.
No matter what becomes of the ruins, understanding its greatness is amazing, and almost unfathomable, specifically how it was planned and built in an era long before computers. For many of us, the reality of returning to visit is unrealistic or even years out. However, for those who may want to get an idea of the grandness or feelings it would create, should visit the Hollywood and Highland center located in the heart of Hollywood, California. The photos speak for themselves but attempt to give readers the idea of its vastness. If Los Angeles is a destination in your future, this is a must see.
As you exit off the 101 freeway and drive down High-land Avenue, there’s a curve in the road that creates a blind spot, but as soon as the billboard moves and you connect with what lies ahead, there’s a moment of awe. Like a child opening a gift on Christmas, giddiness, excitement and surprise. The exterior is like the protective walls of a castle, what lies within is a mystery. But you don’t have to come with your soldiers in tow to get behind these walls, all you need is a validation at the parking garage and you’re in. You see the center is an open mall that caters to lots of shopping and most notably is the home of the Kodak Theater, which hosts the infamous Oscar Awards. It has a beautiful fountain in the middle - great to run through during the hot months. The tree of life and enormous elephants stare down at you as if they are guarding your every move.
The architects, Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects, unfortunately were not available for comment as to what inspired the structure or why it was chosen. Their website also did not provide any detailed information.
Babylon in Hollywood