Bricks, Aura, And The Multiplication Of The Lubavitcher Messiah

George Prochnik at Cabinet Magazine:

On the flatlands of central Israel, not far from Tel Aviv, “770,” the triple-peaked brick Gothic Revival home of the Rebbe, rises in a spanking orange vertical from a large parking lot. Stroked on one side by the fronds of a low palm tree, it appears fresh as a desert flower sprung up overnight in a flood’s wake. On Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles, 770 has the same basic three-story profile, its windows and doorway framed by limestone surrounds, but here the house has doubled in size and added another trio of gables. Edged by a gas station and displaying a relaxed, liver-colored spread in its bulk, the building makes itself at home in the sprawling, unbuttoned metropolis. In New Jersey, 770 has gone a bit suburban-mall office park. On the shore of Lac Désert near Montreal, one might detect a hint of the trademark Canadian maple leaf in 770’s sharp angled gables. In São Paulo, 770 is jammed between soaring white skyscrapers; it has shed girth to squeeze into the teeming megacity. And in Milan—where 770 is wedged between an ample, peach-hued palazzo and a low, old, murky yellow home—the bay window distinguishing the original structure’s center section has transformed into a stylish glass balcony.

more here.