Thresholds: The limits of perception

The building normally warranted no attention ­ just another profile disregarded by the madding crowd. The light was merely makeup, highlighting the contours of its face ­ a face that would otherwise go unnoticed by the masses of people who swarmed by her every day.

Illuminated from street level, three bright white lamps brought out the architectural details. Sharp angles on the second floor, flowers on the fourth, pillars on the fifth; interior arches on the seventh. The exterior surprises of the banal building on lower Broadway had life ­ the details were there, now the crowd gave pause. The light gave passersby a reason to look up ­ but it was the innate beauty of the structure that warranted the attention.