This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Living in a space ship in downtown Phoenix

One of the reasons that I have such fond memories of working in downtown Phoenix is that I lived in a space ship. It was called Valley Center, then Bank One Center, and is now Chase Tower. And that's really what it was, a space ship.

Although it didn't fly through space, the "outside world" was really far away from this gigantic building. It had its own post office, dry cleaners, and several shops and restaurants. You could look out over the valley from the huge glass windows as if Phoenix were just painted onto them. And what really made it a space ship was the way it was heated and cooled.

In your house, and in most buildings, you are aware of what the weather is outside. In the summer you turn on the air conditioning, in the winter you turn on the heat. And I'm sure that you have been somewhere in Phoenix, for example a restaurant, that hadn't quite fine-tuned whether it's hot or cold outside. Not so with a space ship.

When Bank One Center replaced its air conditioning system in the early nineties, a memo went out that invited employees, who may have been of a techno-geeky nature, like me, to come and see it. I took the tour. And if you're wondering what kind of machinery is needed to heat and cool a 40-story building in Phoenix, believe me, it's impressive. But what I most remember is that the temperature is kept constant year-round. Whether it's 120 degrees out there, or freezing cold, the building was always kept at 73 degrees.

And since one of the number one topics of conversation in the building was always that it was too cold or too hot, I got to thinking that this would be how it would be in a space ship. Although I don't recall anyone ever talking about it on "The Enterprise"!
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