HOT DOCUMENT: I Can See For Miles And Miles

32?40′ 34″ N, 117?9′ 28″ W

This Google map satellite pic of a swastika-shaped building on a US Navy base in Coronado, California, has been making its rounds on the internet. According to some sources, the building is part of the training facilities for Navy Seals, and is perhaps their barracks. It’s nicknamed “The Seals Lair.” Apparently, the building was constructed with no intention of promoting the swastika symbol, so it was completely unintentional.

I note that for its time period, the design of the building was really optimal for a number of reasons. Buildings constructed during that time were designed to allow best access for rooms to light and air, since air conditioning was uncommon. I bet the architect was really pleased with this layout, since it made great use of the site plot, while maximizing each barrack wing’s window exposure. Also, the design included some courtyard greenspace between each of the wings, which is also very good for aesthetics and psychological wellbeing.

But, should the happenstance of increasing popularity of satellite imagery be a strong enough reason to reshape the building so that it will no longer have the swastika profile, as some people seem to think should be done? I don’t think so.

* UPDATE: CNN has just reported that the Navy has taken so much flack on this that they’re going to change the building’s offensive shape by adding landscaping and other structures to the tune of over $600,000! Must be the first time that online maps have forced a complete building redesign! [via FLICKR/Hat tip to Wayngo]

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