On my usual morning mad dash to the office (I never said I was a time-management expert), I drive through the intersection of Russell and Deer Street in Portsmouth. Over the last nine or ten months it’s been the construction site of a new eco-friendly Marriott Hotel. This spot used to be occupied by the “Parade Mall”, a disgusting, sprawling, pre-fab vestige of the 60’s which somehow made it’s way into the quaint, historic landscape of our beloved seaside city. I watched with glee as this monstrosity was demolished to make room for the new hotel. They blasted out a huge crater and laid the foundation, then over the next few months erected the iron skeleton floor by floor. Through the wintry rain and snow, the construction team added the wood overlay, sculpted out the windows, and day by day fine-tuned all the details until the bricklayers arrived to surface the outside, the part I was most eager to see unfold. How could they possible finish before the turn of the next century, laying brick by brick amidst the frozen New England winter? Much to my dismay, they wrapped the whole surface in canvas sheets, blowing heaters inside them while they mysteriously did their handiwork. Then Poof! One day it was all done except for some outside details like sidewalks, trees, and signs. Now, the hotel is almost ready to open for business, and I’m realizing why I’ve been so transfixed by the project. Building a hotel is alot like building a relationship. The old, defunct structures must be dismantled to make way for newer, more pleasing and functional ones. There must be a dedicated team working collaboratively day by day, regardless of the weather. A solid foundation must be built to support the entire structure. The labor needs to be divided so all the tasks can be undertaken efficiently, and in reasonable order. Some parts, like the bricklaying, are mysterious. It is a gradual feat of determination, creativity and daring. And it starts, and moves inexorably forward, with love and vision.
What kind of relationship are you building?…………